It is a cherished rite of passage for 16-year-olds all over the United States — passing their drivers’ test and getting their licenses. But parents shouldn’t be so quick to hand over the keys until they are sure that their teens have the driving skills to safely ride solo.
You may believe that your teen is a safe and cautious driver, but remember that they share the roads with other young and inexperienced drivers, as well as motorists of all ages who do not respect the traffic laws of the state of New York. Read on to learn more.
Car accidents are the leading cause of teen fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a recent year:
- 47% of teenage motorists who died in wrecks did not have their seat belts on when they crashed.
- A total of 2,433 teens age 16 – 19 died in motor vehicle accidents. Another 292,742 received medical treatment for the injuries they suffered in collisions.
- 82% of teen drivers who died in car wrecks had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of more than .08.
- Distracted driving was attributed to at least 10% of fatal accidents with a teen behind the wheel.
Those are some scary statistics for parents to absorb.
Teach your teen defensive driving skills
Make sure that your teen receives driver training from an accredited instructor who can show them how to drive safely and defensively. Parents, ride with your teen both during daylight hours and after dark, until you are confident they know how to handle themselves behind the wheel
If an accident occurs, seek help
Teens don’t have to be bad drivers or reckless to end up in a wreck. As the parent of your teen, you must be their legal advocate for them to recover financial compensation after an accident caused by another at-fault driver.