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Teens are reckless drivers and the statistics agree with this. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that the likelihood for teens aged 16 to 19 to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle collision is three times more compared to drivers aged 20 and above.
Parents behaving badly
One of the main reasons behind the high accident rates amongst teens is their reckless behavior behind the wheel. Teens take risks and many drive aggressively. While many would like to attribute this to teens behaving badly, the Automobile Association of America (AAA) reports that parents play a major role in the reckless driving habits that many teens exhibit.
Many of the mistakes teens make while driving can be attributed to their parents. According to the AAA, many driving instructors report that parents set poor examples for their teens. As a result, teens view behaviors such as talking on the phone while driving as safe and emulate their parents.
How you can help your teen be safe on the road
Parents have a lot of influence over the behavior of their teens. They are the major role model especially when it comes to driving. As such, parents need to model good driving habits in order to help their teens adapt good driving practices.
The following tips ought to help you get started:
Give your teen some extra time behind the wheel under your supervision. This is especially important for teens who are learning to drive with a driver’s ed program. Although instructors do their best to teach your teens the skills they need to be safe on the road, there’s often not enough time to spend putting these skills to practice. Nothing beats experience. Giving your teen more hours behind the wheel while under your supervision will help him become more proficient before he gets his driving license.
Talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding. Ensure that he understands how important it is to be sober and alert while driving and to practice safe driving behaviors.
Walk the talk. Set a good example by avoiding bad habits while on the road. Avoid talking or texting on the phone. Drive at a safe speed and observe the laws of the road. Be sure to respect other drivers as well. Your teens learn a lot from observing you while driving.