Putting your teenager behind the wheel of a car for the first time is scary, but it’s also a necessary part of life. Learning to drive doesn’t have to be dangerous, but it is important for a teenager to have a good understanding of the risks involved. Teenagers who understand that not paying attention while driving are less likely to be in a serious crash. Make sure that your teenager knows these statistics before they start driving.
1. The leading cause of death among teenagers in America is car crashes. In fact, car crashes kill between 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers every year. This means that car crashes kill more teenagers than gun violence, disease or suicides.
2. Teenage drivers account for nearly 13% of all drivers who are involved in fatal crashes. In fact, a teenager is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than an older driver.
3. A new driver is much more likely to be in a fatal car crash than a driver with even a little more experience. Sixteen year olds have a 40% higher crash rate than 18 year olds.
4. Cell phones are dangerous. Even though over half of teen have admitted to talking on a cell phone while driving and 13% have admitted texting while driving, it has been proven that just talking on a cell phone can reduce reaction time down to the level of a 70 year old. Parents, these statistics apply to you as well. Cell phone usage distracts everyone regardless of age and driving experience.
5. Speeding really can kill you. While 17% of teens think that speeding is fun and more than half have exceeded the speed limit by ten miles per hour or more, it is a known fact that this a proven way to increase a person’s chances of being in a fatal accident.
6. Always wear your seat belt. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of dying in a bad accident by 45%. Unfortunately, teenagers have the lowest seat belt usage of any other age groups.
7. Don’t stay out too late. Nearly half of all teen auto deaths occur between 9 P.M. and 6 A.M. Of these, nearly 60% of deaths occur before midnight.
Make sure that your teenager knows these facts before getting behind the wheel of the car. Talk about speeding, cell phones, and wearing a seat belt.