Teen accidents involving vehicles are the leading cause of death for 13 to 17 year-olds in the US. According to the CDC, six teen drivers die every day in car crashes. That number is even higher for teenage passengers. If you are between the ages of 16 and 19, you are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision.
These stats far outweigh homicide, suicide, unintentional poisoning, cancer, and heart disease. Unlike some of these causes of death, most teen accidents are avoidable. The following tips can prevent teen accidents and keep everyone safe on the road.
Tip #1: Invest in Driver’s Education
Thirty-two states in the US require driver’s ed for new drivers under 18. Some states like California and Louisiana require teen drivers to receive at least 30 hours of actual classroom training. Arizona allows teenage drivers to avoid formal training and instead drive a minimum of 30 hours. Because of this loophole, many Arizona parents prefer to skip paying for driver’s ed and just teach their teens themselves. This is a costly mistake.
Recent stats show that teen drivers who have not completed driver’s ed are 24 percent more likely to die in an accident. They also have a much higher chance (75%) of receiving a traffic ticket. Enrolling in driver’s ed teaches young drivers the rules of the road and helps prevent teen accidents. The 100 to 300 dollars you will spend paying for the course is a huge investment in teen safety.
Distractions are one of the leading causes of car accidents among all drivers. A teen accident often involves driving distractors, particularly cell phones. Talking on the phone causes millions of car crashes every year. Texting causes thousands of fatal collisions as well. Parents and driver ed instructors can preach about the danger of using the phone while driving.
Still, many teens will continue to give in to the temptation to text or talk on the phone. Leaving parents wondering what they can do to prevent teen accidents caused by distractions.
Tip #3: Practice, Practice, Practice
The reason teen accidents are more common than other types of collisions is a simple one: teens drivers are less experienced. When parents take an active roll in training and practice with teens, their skills improve. A lot of parents get nervous or irritated when trying to teach teens to drive. This makes driver’s ed programs even more beneficial. Many offer paid hours of ‘drive time’ in which trained instructors will practice daytime and nighttime driving. This extra practice leads to more confident drivers.
Tip #4: Put Rules in Place
Many states have rules for teen drivers regarding phone use while in the vehicle. Arizona law says teens may not use a wireless communication device for any reason. The only exception is during an emergency when stopping is impossible or dangerous. Even if your particular state does not have a law, parents and young drivers should implement their own.
Using disabling apps for cell phones or putting the phone in the glovebox are good options. If a driver can’t hear or reach their phone, they are much less likely to be distracted by it while driving.
Tip #4: Talk About Accidents
Even if your child is a great driver, a car crash could still happen. Teen accidents are an unfortunate risk, and all motorists need to know what to do if involved in a collision. Sit down and create a collision action plan with your teen so that he or she will be prepared. In this plan, make sure you include emergency numbers, including the towing company and preferred auto body shops.
Hopefully, they will never have to use it. But if your teen is involved in an accident, please reach out to Orlando Auto Body at 480-485-4653. We’d be happy to walk you through the steps of having your vehicle repaired and getting you back on the road.