It’s summer and that means more teen drivers on the road. Statistics show teens have twice as many accidents during the summer as any other time of the year, and alcohol is often a contributing factor.
Researchers say teen drivers do not think about risk the same way adults do, leading them to take bigger chances when they’re behind the wheel – leading one teen safety advocate to say “there’s no such thing” as a safe teen driver.
A study by insurance company State Farm and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that 75 percent of fatal accidents caused by teen drivers were because of three mistakes:
- Driving too fast for road or weather conditions.
- Not paying attention to the road and what may have been coming ahead or from the side.
- Being distracted by something – or someone – inside or outside the vehicle.
More than half of all fatal teen accidents are one-car crashes, and the main factor is excessive speed. Driving too fast coupled with inexperienced teen drivers’ tendency to misjudge a curve or bump in the road results in thousands of fatal accidents every year.
To make sure this kind of tragedy doesn’t befall your family, sit down with your teen and make a contract specifying they are not to drink or use a cell phone for talking or texting while driving.
You may also want to send your teen to a safe driving school. The American Automobile Association (AAA) is just one of several organizations that offer classes in safe driving for teens.
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