After passing the driver’s test, teenagers see their license as proof they are growing up. It can represent their independence, but many don’t realize it comes with more responsibility. This week (October 15-21) is National Teen Driver Safety Week. This is an opportunity to talk to teens about their driving habits and ways to reduce the chances of an accident that could potentially be fatal.
Cell phones are the most common cause of distracted driving in teenagers. Even though most teens recognize that using a cell phone while driving is unsafe, they will still use their phones while driving. 10% of teenage drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time. Teens are the largest group of distracted drivers.
Speeding is also an issue with teen drivers, especially with them just starting and being inexperienced. Teen focus groups across the country define speeding as going more than 10mph over the speed limit. They may think the small increase is speed has no affects, but it increases the chances of a collision by almost double.
Teenagers also have the lowest rate of seat belt usage when behind the wheel compared to all other age groups. Many deaths and injuries could be prevented if teens used seatbelts regularly. States are starting to approve a primary seat belt law that will save many lives.
By promoting good driving habits, teens, as well as all other drivers, will be safer. Most car crashes are preventable. Everyone needs to work together, follow the law, and promote good driving behaviors to help save the lives around them.