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July 16, 2005 - Rules to keep your teen driver safe
Teen drivers have the highest risk of fatal car accidents - more than any other age group. They also have the highest rate of all crash types ranging from property damage to fatal crashes. 16 year old drivers are the worst. The good news is that we know some of the reasons that young drivers are involved in accidents and why they die in accidents.
Driver error is a bigger factor for younger drivers than older drivers. The reason is simple - young drivers lack experience and therefore make mistakes. Young drivers do not know how to properly react to many challenging driving situations. The cure to this is more practice with adult supervision. Don't let your 16 year old get their drivers license until they are ready.
Speeding is a leading cause of accidents for all drivers but even more of a problem for young drivers. Make it clear to your teenager that driving is a privilege and if they are caught speeding they will lose that privilege.
Too Many Kids
With each additional passenger in the car the risk of an accident goes up. Set a rule that your teen cannot take more than one teenager with them in the car for the first three months they are driving. Increase it to two after three months and keep it at two for the first year.
Teenagers don't like to wear seatbelts. The result is that they are more likely to be killed in an accident. Set a rule that if they are caught not wearing a seatbelt they lose their driving privilege for a week - the first time. The second time it's a month.
The main message is that driving is a privilege for all of us. Adults can lose their driving privilege for a variety of reasons and it's up to parents to set rules and enforce them.
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