Summer is just around the corner and teens are in full countdown mode for school break! Unfortunately, summer is one of the deadliest times of the year for teen drivers. The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been called the “100 deadliest days” to be on the road.
Summer isn’t the only time of year that teens are more likely to be in a serious car accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. The main reason for this tragic statistic is that teens lack experience handling a car and understanding roadway conditions. According to Healthy Children, teens especially struggle with sizing up and reacting appropriately to hazardous circumstances such as merging onto a highway, making a left-hand turn at a crowded intersection, or driving in poor weather
Do you know a teen driver? Keep reading to learn how to talk to teens about why their risk of car accidents is so high and the potential ways to lower that risk. Experts agree on 5 reasons that teen drivers are more in danger of being killed or seriously injured on the road.
#1: Teen Drivers Don’t Have Enough Practice
School drivers-ed programs and private driving instruction typically provide a total of six hours on-the-road training when the experience actually needed to become reasonably proficient is closer to fifty hours (two hours a week spread over six months). “Practice makes better,” so encourage teen drivers to receive as much driver education as possible, in a variety of different driving situations.
#2: Teen Drivers Get Their License Too Soon
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teens do not receive an unrestricted license until age eighteen or until they have been driving under adult supervision for at least two years.
#3: Teens Drive Other Teen Passengers
Research has shown that accidents are more common when teen drivers carry teen passengers. Teens are more likely succumb to peer pressure, and other teen passengers often encourage unsafe driving behaviors.
#4: Teens Tend to Drive Older, Cheaper Cars
It might seem like a good practice for teens to save up and buy their own car. However, when it comes to roadway safety and accident prevention, “beaters” can’t compare to newer models with modern safety features. Ideally, adolescents should be driving midsize or full-size cars equipped with air bags, says Healthy Children. Larger cars offer more crash protection. Avoid high-performance vehicles that may tempt teens to speed. SUVs are generally less stable and more likely to roll over. Having a heavy-duty roll bar installed will greatly increase safety.
#5: Adults Don’t Set Good Examples
As a parent, older sibling, relative, mentor, or another respected adult in a teen’s life, you have the opportunity to be a powerful role model. For everyone’ sake, avoid speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, drinking and driving, texting at the wheel, fiddling with your smartphone, and road rage!
Thank you for taking the time to learn how to make the roads safer in Jackson, MS for teens and drivers of all ages! If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident regarding another driver’s negligence, call 601-914-1025 or contact our Jackson office online today!
Heilman Law Group, PA
4266 I-55 North, Suite 106
Jackson, Mississippi 39211