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Teenage car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths. Last year almost 5,000 teenage drivers were involved in fatal car wrecks.
The causes are based on analysis from numerous highway safety programs ( such as www.iihs.org) and my own personal experiences.
It’s no surprise that teenagers aren’t the most mature people. Combine immaturity with a motor vehicle and the chances of your teenage drivers getting in bad car wrecks increase dramatically.
When I was a teenage driver I was very impatient and juvenile. I would constantly switch driving lanes, race other drivers, and speed up to 100 mph trying to beat a red light. I basically drove like I was in a video game.
At that point in my life I was more concerned with having fun and showing off my driving skills than being a safe driver.
I wasn’t mature and that increased my chances of being in a bad accident.
If your teenage drivers are immature they are more likely to act recklessly behind the wheel and cause bad car crashes.
The first 500 miles for your teenage drivers are the most critical. During this time, they are 10 times more likely to be in auto crashes than adult drivers.
Most teenage car accidents happen because your teen drivers simply lack experience. They have not gone through the same driving situations you and I have. Things like:
- Driving in bad weather conditions
- Night time driving
- Being victims of road rage
When these circumstances come up, your teenager drivers are less prepared. As a result, they are not able to react and recover quickly to avoid bad accidents.
Nearly one third of all fatal teen car crashes involve speeding.
Almost all teen drivers speed. Some teenager drivers are impatient while others seek thrill. Some say they only speed when they are late for a class or coming home late from a party.
Whatever the reason, speeding is a dangerous habit among teenage drivers and significantly increases their risk of being in an accident.
A quarter of all teen car accidents involve alcohol.
Even though the legal drinking age is 21, it is no secret that teenagers drink. Most teenagers get drunk at parties where kids bring alcohol from their parent’s liquor cabinet.
Just as teenagers lack driving experience, your teen also lacks information and experience about how alcohol is going to affect their body.
I have seen this happen before. Someone drinks and thinks by waiting a few hours and drinking lots of water they will be fine to drive home.
Others excuses I’ve heard
- I don’t have enough money to call a cab.
- My house is just a few blocks away
- I can’t call my parents. They’d kill me!
So they take a chance, drive and join the drunk driving statistics.
Teenage drivers love to multitask.
Around 56 % of teen drivers use their cell phones while driving. Some even text their friends, update their Facebook status and change radio stations while driving.
Impressive, but really dangerous.
Another distraction among car accidents involving teenagers is teen passengers.
Statistics on teen car accidents have shown that the number of fatal car crashes among teenage drivers increase with each additional passenger.
Driving with other teens may create distractions like:
- Being agitated by loud and irritating passengers
- Turning and talking with people in the backseat
- Friends encouraging risky driving
More teen passengers means your teenage drivers are more likely to do some stupid stunt like drag race or ‘pop the curb’ to impress their friends.
Your teenage drivers are the least likely to wear a seatbelt.
Nearly two thirds of teenagers who die in fatal car accidents weren’t wearing seatbelts.
There is something about wearing a seatbelt that is just not appealing to teenagers. This can be due to many things:
- Misinformed about how seat belts save lives
- Rebelling against parents who enforce this rule
- Sense of immortality
Some teenagers intend to put on the seatbelts as they pull out of the driveway but simply forget it once they’re on the road. They think it’s no big deal; I am a good driver.
Unfortunately, being a good driver doesn’t protect you against other reckless drivers. Teenage drivers get in bad accidents even when it’s not their fault. They still end up with car injuries and thousands lose their lives.
Teenage car accidents are clearly a huge problem. Knowing the causes of teen car accidents is a first step but it is always enough.
If you really want to save your kids learn how to prevent car accidents involving teenagers.
Then you can learn how to motivate your teenage drivers to be safe. Nothing is going to change unless you take action to make your teen drivers more prepared and safe from harm.