Car accidents remain one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States, but this is especially true for anyone ages 15 to 20. A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2019 found that 205,000 younger drivers were injured in car crashes while another 1,603 lost their lives.
Those numbers are staggering, but they help parents and safety organizations isolate the most common causes and types of accidents that this demographic experiences. With this information at hand, parents can help their teens become more aware behind the wheel and therefore safer on the road. These are the most common accidents for teens.
The majority of teen car crashes are caused by three things: speeding, distractions, and lack of scanning. All three are preventable, thankfully, and all it takes is a little parenting to get the job. It’s essential that you talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving and speeding, as well as teach them how to monitor their surroundings as they learn to drive.
Of course, you can’t be there all the time. That’s what skilled legal professionals like car accident lawyer Dan Rose are for. Not to mention the importance of quality car insurance and healthcare. However, talking and working with your teen now can drastically increase their chances of being involved in an accident in the future.
Speeding is an issue for all demographics, but it becomes more prevalent within younger age groups. Teens are highly susceptible due to the excitement of their newly found freedom. Wrapped up in finally being able to drive, it isn’t uncommon for them not to think straight about how heavy they’re pressing the gas pedal. Peer pressure can also be a factor here.
Adults and teens are both guilty of distracted driving in mass numbers, which just makes it all the more important that you talk to your teen about these dangers. Texting and driving remains a top concern, but that isn’t the only form of distracted driving.
Eating, smoking, playing with the radio, and even talking too much can all be enough of a distraction to cause an accident. It’s important that you teach your teen how dangerous these actions are and why they need to stay focused on the road.
Sometimes, your teen may be hyper focused on different aspects of driving. This can cause them to neglect other aspects, and is usually caused by anxiety about acquiring this new skill. A lack of scanning usually involves them staying so focused on road lines or just the road ahead instead of all of the car’s surroundings.
If you notice this while teaching them to drive, then talk to them about defensive driving techniques. Start with the basics, such as checking the mirrors, then move on to helping them scan the rest of their surroundings. If you sit in the passenger seat while they drive, you can help them realize what they should be paying attention to or looking out for by simply pointing things out that you notice.