Although fewer teens are actually going for their drivers’ licenses than the past two generations, more of them are dying on the road. In fact the DOT reports that teens account for 33% of all accidental deaths involving motor vehicles in the US, with 75% of them due to driver error. It was also reported that approximately 8 teenagers are killed in traffic accidents every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
To understand why, Driving-Tests.org (an online driver ed-provider) conducted a nationwide survey to try and get into the minds of teen drivers. What they found out may surprise many parents, particularly the fact that that teenage drivers are “not only aware of the dangers involved with driving a motor vehicle, they are surprisingly insecure about their own limited ability to manage those risks.” However, the main reasons less kids are choosing to get behind the wheel as early as before (only 28% of 16-year-olds got their driver's license in 2010) has been attributed to the increasing use of social networking, as well as rising gas prices.
At the same time, the use of cell phones, both talking and texting, while driving are two of the deadliest practices among teen drivers, followed by intoxication.
When asked what were their biggest fears about driving, 36% answered being involved in an accident, crash or wreck; 22% expressed concerns about unpredictability of and interaction with other drivers; while 23% of the teens said they were afraid of parallel parking, making turning, driving on highways, and driving around trucks. Only 6% said they feared getting lost or confused.
Others said that they were put-off by the driving tests themselves, with 24% of those responding to the online survey stating that they had trouble understanding the test language. Others expressed concerns about feeling nervous about being able to develop the “right” driving skills, as well as being overwhelmed by emotional pressure.
*Driving-Tests.org has been providing free permit practice test services to teens (and other potential drivers) in all 50 states since 2010. In addition, the Company launched its public service campaign, “Focus on the Road” last year in order to raise awareness and promote teen driving safety. To learn more about their services, as well as to read full survey results visit them online.