One of the biggest milestones in the lives of a teenager is obtaining a driver’s license, allowing these very young adults the ability to drive to and from school, work or even on social occasions. Teenage drivers are one of the highest risk demographics when it comes to accidents and injuries, causing a national examination of teen driving laws over the years. This process has resulted in different programs and procedures to ensure the safety of the teenagers, as well as other drivers on the road.
According to the Center for Disease Control, vehicle crashes are the cause of most teenage deaths in the U.S. Teenagers are, in fact, three times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash than drivers who are 20 or older. There are multiple reasons for these statistics, including less experience on the road, driving with other teenage passengers, texting while driving and drinking and driving. Because of the lack of experience, or the distractions that come with intoxication, friends or texting while driving, many teenage drivers are unable to gauge the danger in certain driving situations. This can ultimately lead to a vehicle accident and personal injury.
There are ways to help prevent a teenager from being involved in a vehicle accident. Many states have Graduated Driver Licensing systems or Provisional Driver’s Licenses that ramp up a teenager’s experience on the road through restrictions on the time they are allowed to drive and the number of passengers that can be in a car driven by a teenager. In addition, awareness campaigns that focus on teens who text while drive, or drink and drive are becoming a large part of driver’s education programs. The role of parents is also important, in discussing and modeling the proper behaviors needed to be a safe driver.
Teaching teenagers the best practices for safe driving not only keeps them alive and well during the teenage years, but, it also keeps them safe as adults. Through parental involvement and support of laws and the efforts in our schools, each newly licensed teenage driver can be assured of a safe and healthy future.