According to the National Safety Council, half of all teens will be involved in a car crash by the time they graduate high school. What can be done to reduce this percentage?
On their website, that National Safety Council points out that:
Contrary to popular belief, teens crash most often because they are inexperienced. They struggle judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for conditions and turning safely, among other things. – NSC.org
Only by understanding the root cause can we take the proper steps to remedy a problem. In the case of teen driving, the National Safety Council has determined that inexperience is the root cause of most teen driving crashes.
It stands to reason that if we can help teens become more experienced drivers, we can reduce the number of teen crashes. So, we asked over 700 people the following question:
What do you believe would have the greatest positive impact on reducing teen driving deaths?
The keyword cloud below conveys the responses:
As you can see, the top two responses were:
- No texting
When we group similar answers, the trend becomes even more clear. In general, people seem to believe that removing distractions (especially phones) will do the most to reduce teen driving crashes, with solutions that relate to addressing inexperience coming in second:
While distracted driving is certainly a problem among teen drivers, and drivers of all ages for that matter, it’s critical for parents of teen drivers to recognize that inexperience is what’s at the root of the problem.
Resources for Parents
While driver’s education courses are essential in teaching and educating young drivers, perhaps nothing is more important than the instruction, and example, provided by the parents of teen drivers.
Below you’ll find a few links to resources that will help you ensure that your teen driver gains the experience they need before they being driving on their own:
DriveitHome.org – “Designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers, DriveitHOME™ offers a variety of helpful resources you can use to help your teen get the experience they need behind the wheel to become safer, more experienced drivers.”
TeenDriverSource.org – “Whether you’re a teen, parent, policymaker, educator, or researcher, this site supports your efforts with free teen driver safety information and downloadable resources. Together we can make a difference in reducing teen driver crashes.”
National Safety Council – Teen Driving – The National Safety Council provides statistics and resources for parents who want to better understanding what they can do to help make their teen driver the best, most experienced driver they can be.