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This guest post about Teenage Driving Tips was written by Evan M. Levow, Esq. View his bio at the end of the post!
Getting a driver’s license is a big step in a teenager’s life which leads to more independence.
But new teen drivers often underestimate the great responsibilities that come with driving privileges and the serious dangers associated with driving.
As a parent, it is important to help your child understand the dangers of auto accidents and teach them how to drive safely on our roadways. This article highlights some statistics about teenage driving and includes helpful driving tips which you can share with the new driver in your home.
Common Causes of Teen Car Crashes & Tips On How To Avoid Accidents
Unfortunately, many teenage drivers are involved in serious auto accidents each year.
According to statistics from the CDC, teenage drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 have the highest risk of being involved in an auto accident compared to drivers in any other age group.
Years of research has found several common factors involved in the majority of accidents involving teenage drivers. Below we highlight a few of the most common causes of teenage auto accidents and share useful tips to help your teen avoid accidents:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents for drivers of all ages, but is especially common in accidents involving teens. Driving safely requires serious concentration and just one second of distraction can result in a major crash.
Eating, texting, talking, and even listening to music are all examples of distractions which can take a driver’s attention away from the road. Distracted driving is becoming even more of a problem in today’s high-tech world where smartphones are constantly calling for our attention.
Teen Driving Tip: Many teens attempt to drive while using their cell phone to call, text, play music, input directions and perform other tasks. If you need to use your phone to make an important call or send a text message, it is best to pull over at a safe area to do so instead of attempting to use your phone while driving.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs leads to many auto accidents each year. Not only can impaired driving lead to serious accidents, but the legal consequences of intoxicated driving can be severe too.
Teen Driving Tip: It is important to discuss the dangers associated with impaired driving with your child. Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to the “Zero Tolerance” laws, which exist in all 50 States, as well as the District of Columbia. These laws which make it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with any alcohol in their system. If there’s any chance that you are intoxicated you should call someone to pick you up, use an alternative mode of transportation (Uber, Lyft, etc.), or stay at the location until it is safe to drive.
Nighttime driving leads to lots of accidents involving teenage drivers each year. In fact, data from Virginia State Police records found that more than 40% of fatal auto accidents involving teen drivers occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Teen Driving Tip: Reduced visibility at night makes it much more difficult to anticipate and react to dangerous situations on the road. It is important to help your child understand the increased dangers associated with nighttime driving. Headlights can only illuminate so much of the road ahead, so it is important to drive at a safe speed that allows for enough time to stop in case of an unexpected hazard.
Drowsy driving is another common cause of teenage car accidents. Drowsy driving is often a factor that contributes to accidents that occur at night, however drowsy driving can occur at any time of day.
Unfortunately, falling asleep at the wheel is much more common than most people believe and can lead to some of the worst types of accidents.
Teen Driving Tip: If you feel tired and are having trouble concentrating on the road ahead, you should pull over to a safe area to rest before continuing your trip. Don’t try to force yourself to drive while you are tired. Caffeine can only do so much and will not help if you are truly fatigued.
Reckless driving is one of the leading causes of accidents among teen drivers. Accidents caused by reckless driving can often lead to much more severe injuries for passengers involved due to the nature of the crashes.
Reckless driving can include speeding, aggressive lane changing, or any other type of driving that puts others in danger.
Teen Driving Tip: Teens are more likely to underestimate a dangerous / hazardous situation on the road and may not even realize that they are driving recklessly in the first place. For example, the speed limit may be 60 mph on a certain highway, but driving 60 mph on a highway that is covered in snow and ice would be considered reckless driving. Be sure to obey speed limits and make an effort to recognize hazardous situations on the road.
Bonus Tip: Invest In Driving Safety Classes
Taking driving safety classes with a certified agency is a great way to develop safe driving skills at a young age. While online driving safety courses exist and can be valuable, the best courses involve actual driving time with a certified instructor.
Completing a driving course often results in significantly reduced insurance rates so the courses usually pay for themselves within a few months.
Evan M. Levow, Esq. is an award-winning New Jersey DWI defense attorney at Levow DWI Law who has been successfully representing drivers arrested on DWI charges in New Jersey for decades. In addition to his dedication to representing his clients, Evan is also committed to giving back by helping educate drivers throughout the country about DUI laws and safe driving practices.