For a teenager, the first time behind a wheel of a vehicle, without the pressure of parents, is one of the most exciting events in their adolescent life. The thrill of freedom behind the wheel can bring fun, excitement and the unexpected. These unexpected moments are the moment’s parents fear the most.
Unfortunately, the fear for your teenage driver comes with truth. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the age of 25 are four times more likely to die in automotive accident. Automotive crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. Teens. Teens ranging from 15-24 account for a small 14% of the United States population, however they account for 30% of the cost for vehicle related injuries.
The risks and dangers surrounding a teen driver are impossible to ignore. Teenage drivers are far more of a risk on the road then an older person. Some researchers believe this is due to the fact a teen’s mind is not fully developed. The amount of responsibility and focus it takes to successfully operate a vehicle is not yet distinguished in a teen’s brain.
So, what are some possible ways to lower the death rates among teens? Vehicle makers have created safer vehicles with more safety features, but the truth is in some incidents there is nothing that can protect a person in a motor vehicle accident. Courses have been taught to educate, but the rates of deaths do not decline.
Some states within the U.S. have adopted a form of Graduated Drivers License, where the student gains more driving privileges as they gain more experience. 45 states total have adopted this law, slowing down the process for teens to get a full license. The GDL has proven itself by lowering the death rates of teens by 23%.
Aggressive safe-driving advocates have voiced their opinions that the GDL is not enough. They wish to imply strict laws for drivers such as not allowing teens to drive at night. In 2004, Nevada adopted the nighttime provision for young driver. In the year 2005, automotive collisions involving teens were down 18%, according to Time Magazine.
Safe driving saves lives. Educate your teen about driving in all weather conditions and discuss the risks of drinking and driving.