First Month Of Driving Remains The Most Dangerous For Teens
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a new study showing that teen drivers have the highest risk for crashes during their first month on the road. This drops by 50% once they have a year of experience. A number of teen drivers in North Carolina had their driving patterns and crashes analyzed. Three common mistakes were found that caused nearly 60% of the accidents during the first month after receiving their license. Teens were having problems reducing their speeds, failing to yield properly and not paying enough attention to the road.
Crashes involving left hand turns are also caused by inexperience, as these accidents dropped drastically as teens became more experienced drivers. Since these accidents dropped so quickly in the 2nd and 3rd months of driving, it is believed that parents can help prevent these crashes through better education. Other types of accidents are just as likely to occur after a year or more of driving, making them behaviors that a teen can only learn through years of practice.
Parents can help their teens become better drivers even after they are awarded a driver’s license. The in-car cameras used for the study demonstrated that some teens texted while driving or were distracted by passengers. Setting strict rules on passengers and cell phone use while driving can prevent accidents caused by these distractions. Night driving should also be limited for the first few months of a new driver as the low visibility makes navigating more dangerous. If you don’t feel comfortable with your teenager driving in certain weather conditions or in certain areas with bad traffic conditions, don’t be afraid to set boundaries and enforce them. Once your teen has a few months of experience they’ll be much better equipped to deal with difficult driving conditions.