How to Talk to Teens About Driving Safely

Sep 16, 2017

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers are nearly three times more likely to end up in a car accident than adults. Additionally, the leading cause of death for teens is motor accidents. Because teens may not understand the potentially fatal consequences of operating a motor vehicle, parents need to have an open line of communication with teenagers—even before they ever get behind the wheel.

When talking to teens about driving safely, it’s important to establish clear ground rules, stay involved as your teen grows and improves their driving skills, and always set a good example for how a responsible driver should act behind the wheel.

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm can help you with whatever car accident issues you run into. Whether someone runs into your unsuspecting teen or your teen causes an accident, we can make sure you find justice.

Bring Confidence to the Conversation

Part of talking to your teen about becoming a safe driver stems from being confident about your approach. You understand how severe the issue of safe driving is, don’t hesitate. You can positively influence your teen’s driving habits, but to do so, you have to approach the conversation confidently.

Establishing Your Ground Rules

To speak confidently about teen driving safety tips, you need to establish your expectations from the start. Make it clear where in town your teen can drive to and how late he or she can stay out.

This teen driving guide answers the question, “How can teens be convinced to drive more safely?” It also discusses what a safe driver is responsible for and how parents can speak to their kids about how to become a safe driver.

Setting a Good Example

The best way for your teen to become a safe driver is by showing them how to become a safe driver. The best way to lead is by example, be mindful of your driving habits because they will inevitably pass to your children.

Remember, you are their role model, and if you want your teenager to be a safe driver, you have to set a good example.

Understand Facts About Young Drivers

If you aren’t aware of national teen driving statistics, how can you accurately speak on teenage driving dangers? Research the prevalent dangers teenage drivers face so you can approach your conversation without apprehension or tentativeness.

Stay Involved

One of the most critical aspects of new driver safety is staying involved in your teen’s driving habits. Once your teen gets their license, their driving education shouldn’t stop. If anything, it should continue on a more regular basis. Because they will be driving independently, you must continue to monitor your teen’s driving habits.

Teen Driving Statistics

The following statistics come from the Center for Disease Control and

  • Motor vehicle accident risks are highest among teens aged 13-19.
  • The motor vehicle death for male drivers aged 16-19 was almost two times higher than the death rate for females of the same age.
  • The majority of serious teen driver crashes have to do with critical errors that teen drivers make. The most common of these critical errors are lack of scanning the road, speeding, and distracted driving.
  • The crash rate per mile is 1.5 x higher among new drivers aged 16 than 18-19-year-old

What Are the Biggest Risk Factors for Teen Driving?

The primary risks for teen driving accidents revolve around common mistakes that all drivers make. However, because teen drivers are inexperienced in these situations, these risks are heightened.

The statistics contained in this article are from the CDC and other cited sources:

1. Inexperienced Driving

Teenage drivers have fewer skills in their repertoire to avoid potentially hazardous situations. In these situations (such as poor road conditions), experienced drivers can avoid obstacles more easily. Teens are more likely to make critical mistakes than adults, which can lead to severe crashes.

2. No Seatbelts

Teens are more likely not to wear their seatbelts than adults. Not wearing a seatbelt is one of the most dangerous aspects of driving. In fact, of the 37,133 people killed in car accidents, 47% were not wearing seatbelts. This statistic displays the importance of creating awareness with your teen about the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

Teens are notorious for not wearing their seatbelts. For example, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey Controlled Intersection Study found that teenage seatbelt use was approximately 87% each year, whereas the usage rate for adults over 25 was 90% or higher.

3. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving always causes adverse effects, but distracted driving affects younger drivers disproportionately.

A Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that 39% of the high school students in the survey texted or emailed while driving throughout the 30-day study.

Many teenagers do not see the harm in quickly responding to a text while driving. However, taking your eyes off the road for even a couple of seconds can lead to disaster. These days, there are many apps parents can download onto their teens’ phones. The app will disable the phone when it is going over a specific speed limit.

4. Speeding

Teens are more likely to speed, and they allow shorter headway distances between cars. Because teens are more careless with their speed and follow people more closely, you should teach your teens how to maintain speed limits and appropriate distance.

2018 statistics published on the CDC’s website found that 30% of male drivers between the ages of 15-20 and 18% of the female drivers between the ages 15-20 involved in fatal car accidents were speeding. Both of these numbers were the highest percentages by sex for any age group.

5. Alcohol Use:

Drinking any amount of alcohol before driving increases your risk of being involved in an accident. Buzzed driving is not any safer than drunk driving.

Teen drivers also have an increased risk with alcohol because they don’t have experience operating a vehicle. The inexperience of operating a motor vehicle combined with alcohol inhibition and inebriation causes higher risks to teens.

The same Youth Risk Behavior survey mentioned earlier in this guide also found that among high school students who drove, 5.4 % drove while drinking alcohol. The same study found that older, male, underperforming students were more likely to drink alcohol before driving.

16.7% of the high school students in the survey rode with a driver who had drunk alcohol at least once during the 30 days before the survey. Riding with a driver who had drunk and drove was more prevalent among students who had lower grades. Students who engaged in other risks such as speeding were 3-13 times more likely to engage in drinking and driving.

Denver Car Accident Attorneys Who Care

Talking to your child about the potential hazards of teenage driving is a crucial component of answering the question, “how can teens be convinced to drive more safely.” Though conversations help, teaching your teenager how to become a better driver also comes down to being a role model for them.

This means that you need to show your teen how to be a safe and responsible driver. Wearing your seatbelt, defensively driving, and not speeding will help teach your teenager how to safely navigate the road and become a safe driver in the future.

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm consists of Denver car accident attorneys who care about you and your family. Regardless of whether your teenager was at-fault in an accident, we can ensure that you and your family protect yourselves against shady insurance practices and lawsuits.

If you or your teen was involved in a car accident, give us a call today at (303) 333-7285. Learn more about how our experienced car accident attorneys can put your worries at ease and ensure that your rights are protected.

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm | Website | + posts

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm is a team of personal injury attorneys in Denver, CO serving victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Each of our lawyers is licensed with the Colorado State Bar (CBA) and specialize in injury law.

We've recovered tens of millions of dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts for our clients. For 13+ years we've helped thousands of people get back on their feet after experiencing serious injuries. We will take your case to trial and get the maximum settlement possible.

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