4 Tips to Make Your Teen a Safer Driver

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers are the most dangerous drivers on American roads due to inexperience. Fortunately, you can take measures to make your child a better driver. Here are four tips to make your teen a safer driver.

Tip #1: Clock At least 110 Hours of Parent-Supervised Driving

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that a car crash risk is the highest during a teen driver’s first month behind the wheel. Moreover, a different study by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center found that teen drivers who clock about 110 hours of supervised driving practice before getting their driver’s permits tend to be better drivers. They drive more safely than their counterparts with far fewer hours of supervised driving practice.

Based on these studies, extended supervised driving practice is a tried-and-true strategy of making your teen a safer driver, which you should continue even after your child gets his/her driver’s permit.

Tip #2: Limit The Total Number of Peer Passengers

According to the CDC, the total number of teen passengers in a car is one of the main risk factors for car crashes involving teen motorists, with male passengers being a bigger risk compared to their female counterparts.

Additionally, the CDC says that male teen drivers with peer passengers are almost six times more likely to perform an illegal driving maneuver before being involved in a car crash than while driving alone. Some of the unsafe driving habits teen drivers with peer passengers are likely to engage in include:

  • Jumping traffic lights
  • Tailgating
  • Dangerous overtaking
  • Hogging the middle lane

Some states have Graduated Driver Licensing provisions that include maximum peer passenger limits for new teen drivers, thereby encouraging teens to practice safe driving. If your state’s GDL has no such provisions, you should set a limit for your inexperienced teen motorist.

Tip #3: Discourage Texting While Driving

A recent study from the National Safety Council found that drivers who text while driving are 6 times more likely to be involved in a car crash than drivers who drive under the influence. This study also found that texting while driving is responsible for 1 out of every 4 car crashes in the U.S., with teen drivers being 4 times more likely than adults to be involved in a car crash.

Additionally, it is worth noting that talking on a cell phone while driving is almost as dangerous.
To promote safe driving for teenage drivers, you should discourage your teen from using his/her cell phone while driving. While at it, also educate your child on the dangers of distracted driving in general.

Tip #4: Always Have Them Wear Their Seatbelts

According to the CED, drivers and front-seat passengers who wear a seatbelt are 45% less likely to die and 50% less likely to suffer life-threatening injuries in a car crash. Regardless of whether you’re in the driver’s seat or the passenger seat, you should always wear a seatbelt whenever you’re riding in a car, as this could mean the difference between life and death. Ensure that your teen driver always wears the seatbelt when seated in a car, even more, while he is driving or is in the front seat.

Practice these four tips to promote safe driving among teenage drivers.

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