For many teens, driving represents a major source of freedom and independence. Unfortunately, it also comes with safety risks. A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics underscores just how pronounced these risks are for young drivers.
Crash rates high among teens
According to this study, teen drivers lead all age groups in crash rate, with drivers in the 16-to-17 age range having the highest crash involvement rate per mile driven.
The study’s findings also underscore how tragic the results of teen driver crashes can be. According to AAP researchers, the No. 1 cause of injury and death for teens are motor vehicle accidents. The study also indicates that recent times have seen teen driving deaths go up after a long period of decline. AAP researchers point to distractions, impaired driving and inexperience as contributing to this increase.
What can parents do to keep teen drivers safe?
So, parents may worry a lot about their teens’ safety when they start driving. There are various steps parents can take towards helping their teens act safely when behind the wheel. This includes:
- Frequently practicing driving with their teen
- Talking to their teen about driver safety and the dangers of the various types unsafe driving behavior
- Modeling safe driving behavior for their teen
What can other motorists do to protect teen drivers?
Teen driver safety is also impacted by how the individuals they share the roads with act. So, a key thing that motorists here in Maryland can do to help keep teen drivers safe is to be mindful of their own driving behavior, particularly when driving in areas where there could be a particularly high likelihood of teen drivers being present (such as areas near high schools). By staying away from behavior such as impaired, distracted or fatigued driving, motorists can help make things safer for everyone they share the roads with, including teen drivers.