Teen Car Accidents: What Can Be Done to Prevent Them

In 2019, the National Safety Council reported that around 38,800 people in the United States lost their lives to car crashes. In the same year, about 4.4 million people survived vehicular crashes but ended up suffering serious injuries. What’s even more disturbing is that car crashes are the most frequent cause of death for teens. This troubling data confirms that something has to be done and what better way than to start with the teens.

Prepare against distractions

Distraction accounts for 8% of teen deaths due to motor vehicle crashes. Distraction can come inside or outside of the vehicle. Multi-tasking while driving seems easy, but it isn’t. It divides your attention, and this is deadly behind the wheel. To prevent unnecessary distractions from occurring, parents must walk the talk by modeling the right behavior. Avoid reaching for stuff, applying makeup, unnecessarily conversing, and browsing your phone while driving. Exposing your teen to different traffic flows and varying road conditions will also help develop their muscle memory when driving. Processing what you see while maneuvering the wheels can be distracting. Start with assisting them to drive in empty streets and slowly help them progress to more challenging terrains. Guide them enough so they can drive alone during rain or snow.

Minimize night driving

About 40% of car crashes that involve teens happen some hours before midnight. Teen drivers aged 16 to 19 are most likely to be in a fatal motor vehicle crash. Parents can help their teens beat the odds by staying involved during the formative years of learning how to drive. Guiding them to a smooth transition from an inexperienced driver to advanced will also help prevent mishaps. Imposing healthy rules at home that discourage sneaking your car away at night is ideal. This is especially the case if you have old cars with inferior safety features. The US Fatality Analysis Reporting System uncovered in 2012 that almost half of the teen drivers killed on US roads were driving vehicles that were 11 or more years old. This data has been changing, thanks to newer car models sporting superior technology. If push comes to shove, you will have to think of ways to get rid of your old car through websites that buy old and junk cars.

Discourage drowsy driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol leads to 2% of the recorded deaths due to car crash. As a response, many states like Utah, have implemented a decreased legal alcohol concentration limit. The role of parents in discouraging drowsy driving is pivotal. They must provide effective alternative options besides drunk driving, such as picking up their kids, designating a sober driver, or hailing a cab instead of driving home. Parents can also help their teens practice defensive driving by buckling up, driving attentively, and avoiding distractions.

Like the rest of us, teens are only human. Learning entails making errors, which occurs in driving too. To prevent making errors at the worst time, enough practice and parental guidance go a long way.

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