Motor vehicle accidents claim the lives of teens every day. There are several factors that can play a part, but understanding what the dangers are may help teens make smarter, safer decisions while on the road.
Teenagers are still learning how to drive, so they don’t always have the skills or knowledge to react properly in certain situations, thereby potentially putting themselves and others at risk. Consider enrolling your teen in a defensive driving course, which can teach them important skills, like how to handle skidding.
There are four types of distractions that can lead to motor vehicle accidents: visual, manual, auditory, and cognitive. Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road to look at anything from passengers in the car to the GPS, and auditory distractions include disruptive sounds, such as talking on the phone or listening to music. Manual distractions require doing something like reaching for an object in the car, while cognitive distractions are anything that takes your mind off driving, such as daydreaming.
Understanding what the distractions are can help your teen avoid them while driving, and thereby also help prevent injuries or death. For example, if they know talking on the phone is an auditory distraction, they can make the decision to put their phone away while driving.
It’s no secret that speeding is common among teenage drivers, but it’s one of the leading causes of accidents, so it’s important to emphasize to your teen that it’s not worth the risk. As a parent or guardian, there are a few ways to help your teen avoid speeding. You can set rules about how fast they’re allowed to go, install a speed limit alert in their car and lead by example by driving the speed limit yourself.
While some accidents teens experience are due to factors beyond their control, such as bad weather or mechanical problems, many are a result of the choices they make. By understanding the risks, your teen can make safer decisions on the road and avoid becoming another statistic.