By: Pauline Onkware and Cheryl Kelly
Getting a driver’s license is a major milestone in the lives of most teenagers. A driver’s license represents a sense of freedom. However, a driver’s license also comes with more responsibility for teenagers and leads to heightened fear and anxiety for most parents. Naturally, parents want their young drivers to be as safe as possible while driving on the road. As a parent of a teenager, it is important to know the leading causes of accidents among teenagers and how many teenagers die in car accidents every year. Every parent should know what to expect and how to prevent their teenagers from being in an accident. Below are some of the leading causes of accidents among teenagers:
- Distractions (e.g.: Cellphones, social media apps, and text or talking while driving)
- Too many passengers in the car: (Georgia’s “Joshua’s Law” permits no more than (3) three non-relative passengers in a car with a teenage driver).
- Night Driving
- Speeding and street racing
- Seat belt use
- Drug and alcohol use
On average, 2,739 teen drivers ages 16-19 died in car related crashes this past year in the United States. This statistic does not include collisions that only resulted in crash-related injuries which was 228,000 this past year. Here are some resources that you as a parent can use to help keep your teen driver safe on the road:
- MOTOsafety: Gives you and your teen the tools needed to become a better driver. It plugs into the OBDII port under your dashboard and provides a web-based parental dashboard for your teenager’s driving report card.
- teenSMART: This computer-based program teaches skills that are proven to decrease crash frequency for teen drivers. Upon completion, many insurance companies offer discounts to insurance premiums. You can take this program for a “test drive” to see how it works and its benefits your teenager’s driving skills.
- Teen drinking prevention: MADD is an expert resource on teen drinking and preventing drunk driving. They offer toolkits, support lines, and even help in finding an advocate. They also provide resources for parents in talking to your teens about drinking and driving.
- Keys2Drive (AAA): AAADrive is a program that helps teenagers who break down on the road with a flat tire, dead battery, out of gas. This program also alerts the parent to certain driving thresholds like speed, time of day, and geographic boundaries. AAA gives a free membership for teen drivers.
- DriveitHome: This website has a parent and teen agreement called a New Driver Deal, which is a written agreement to ensure that the rules set forth within your household are understood and followed.
- Crossroads: This program promotes safe driving in teenagers by giving educational tools and resources to parents, teens, and even educators. These tools can be downloaded or ordered, and they also offer videos to use and share.
- Teen Driver Source: This website is rich with information that encourages teens to become safe and competent drivers. You as a parent will find parent-supervised driving lesson plans that develop critical driving skills and practice within a range of driving environments and conditions.
- Teen Driving Plan: This is an excellent tool for logging and rating your teen on their driving skills. You can use this to work on their performance and also use this plan with the goal guide companion.
Learning the proper driving skills and understanding the consequences, causes and outcomes of accidents can lead to your teen becoming a better driver. As a parent, you’ll never stop worrying about your children, but you can rest a little easier knowing they’re prepared to hit the road with the knowledge and skills you have provided.
If you have questions regarding an auto accident in Georgia, contact our office for a NO-COST CASE STRATEGY SESSION.