Most parents enjoy watching their teenage children blossom into young adults. Their social schedules will be packed with trips to concerts, sports events and other fun destinations.
That’s fine, but telling them that they should always drive responsibly is a message that’s not always heeded. Statistics tell a tragic story of accidents and injuries among teenage drivers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens.” Translated into numbers, “In 2018, almost 2,500 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed, and about 285,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.”
There are several explanations for the alarming data on teenagers behind the wheel. The CDC cites lack of experience leading to poor decision-making, driving at night and on weekends, failure to wear a seat belt, being distracted, excessive speed, and using alcohol.
Although these facts are disheartening, parents can influence their teens’ behavior when they drive in Arizona by underscoring certain safety rules.
Helping your teen become a safe driver
- Teach your child about making sure the car is in proper working order at all times. State the importance of routine maintenance.
- Say that doing anything else while driving, like texting, talking on a cell phone or even fiddling with the radio dial, is extremely dangerous because it takes a driver’s attention off the road.
- Putting a vehicle on the road costs money. Have your teenager assume some of the responsibility for insurance, gas and repairs.
- The rules of the road must be obeyed at all times. They are not just to be learned to pass a driving test.
- A driver should tell passengers not to horse around and to wear their seat belts.
- Watch out for pedestrians.
Being a good driver takes skill, practice and maturity. Your child can cultivate these, but not all drivers are responsible, no matter what their age is. If your teen is involved in an accident and another driver was at fault, you may have questions about seeking compensation.