According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 300,000 teens received treatment for injuries from a car crash in 2017. Due to many different factors, teens often have a higher risk of car accidents than more experienced drivers.
As your teen goes through the process of getting a driver’s license, you may worry about his or her safety on the road. But by talking with your child about the responsibility of owning a car, you may help prevent a life-threatening wreck.
Teenagers are often more at risk than older drivers
The CDC lists a few different reasons that teens are more at risk of a car accident. These include:
- Not enough experience behind the wheel
- Less likely to use a seatbelt than older drivers
- Having other teens in the car
- Letting passengers or electronic devices distract them
- Driving at night and on the weekend
A conversation and restrictions may help keep your child safe
As you start to let your child drive without you, you may want to talk about the dangers associated with driving. An open conversation may help your teen understand why safety is important.
You may also choose to limit when your teen can drive and who can be a passenger. Keeping your child off the highway at night may help prevent a crash. And reducing the number of people who can cause a distraction may help your teen focus on the road.
While other drivers can still cause an accident, driving safely may reduce injuries
While the safest teen driver may still get in a car accident, driving safely and wearing a seatbelt may be able to prevent severe injuries or death. And if there aren’t as many distractions, the teen may be able to react to danger more quickly.
A conversation may help your teenager choose safety
You may feel nervous letting your child drive off alone. If you’re not in the vehicle, you can’t control distractions or prevent him or her from unsafe habits.
But by having a conversation before you hand over the keys, you may help your teen stop and think about the dangers before getting on the road.