Your newly-licensed teen is eager to hit the road, but as a parent you are worried. Will your teen be able to navigate heavy traffic? What happens if they encounter a hazard while driving and do not know how to react? Or what if they drive distracted — or worse, drunk?
These are all valid concerns. It is important to sit down with your teen and discuss safe driving practices.
The statistics on teen car crashes
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019 approximately 2,400 teens lost their lives in a car crash and around 258,000 more suffered injuries necessitating emergency care. Each day approximately seven teens are killed in car wreck. Teens age 16 to 19 are three times more apt than older drivers to be involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident.
Parents can help prevent teen car crashes
As a parent, you can talk to your teen about safe driving practices. For example, you can talk to your teen about:
- Seat belt use
- Drunk driving
- Driving at night
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving, and
- Distracted driving
It may seem like some things we tell our teens go in one ear and out the other. Still, as parents we are responsible for educating our teens about the risks and responsibilities that come with driving. It is a message that we can reinforce by practicing safe driving practices ourselves. Education and parental involvement can be key in ensuring your teen is a safe driver and is not involved in a motor vehicle accident.