Facts About Teenage Driving
Know the risks
It’s important that you and your teenager understand the facts about teenage driving and talk about the risks today’s new drivers face. Inexperience is the largest risk factor for new drivers at any age. But teenage new drivers face even greater risk. What are the facts about teenage driving?
New young drivers face higher risks
- The teenage years can be a time of increased risk-taking and trying new things – such as experimenting with alcohol and drugs.
- Young drivers often drive at times and under conditions of greater risk – more passengers in the vehicle, cellphones and loud music can easily distract an inexperienced driver; young people more often drive at times of greater crash risk such as weekend nights.
- New drivers are inexperienced, have not fully developed their driving skills and are at higher risk of crashing. Young drivers are more likely to talk and text while driving than other age groups. Their crash risk increases dramatically when they are distracted by talking on a cellphone or texting.
- Peer pressure can lead to disastrous consequences.
- Young drivers who can buy their own vehicles sometimes select one that can increase their risk (e.g., a “muscle car” that can be driven at speeds beyond their driving capabilities.)
Having a young driver in the house can also create issues for you and the rest of the family. For example, the risk that your vehicle may be in a crash will increase. There may be vehicle insurance implications and the inconvenience of sharing a vehicle. Use our family driving contracts to help you establish learning-to-drive rules and the consequences for breaking them-right from the start.
No one really wants to think about “What if…?” But, knowing the facts about teenage driving is a great place to start. By thinking of the “what ifs” before they occur, you can put some strategies and tips in place to reduce your teenage driver’s risk, and be safer – right from the start.
So…what are the “what ifs” in your family’s situation? Here are a few you might want to consider. What if:
- We share the use of the vehicle and my teenager doesn’t return it on time, or returns it dirty or with an empty tank?
- My teenager violates the restrictions of the Graduated Licensing program?
- My teenager receives a ticket for a traffic violation (e.g., a speeding ticket)?
- My teenager wants to own a car?
- My teenager drives while impaired by alcohol or drugs?
- My teenager is involved in or at-fault in a crash?
Whatever the “what ifs” are for your family, it’s good to think about them, and plan how you would handle them – before they happen. Our family driving contracts will guide you through this important step.