Newly-Licensed Teens Within 18 Months Have Higher Risk of Car Accidents and Close Calls

21 Jan 2019

Teenage drivers who have fewer than 18 months experience with driving have a four times higher risk of a near-crash event or a crash with risk factors like speed, distraction, teen passengers, inexperience, alcohol or medication or drugs, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

No matter how careful teen drivers are, they all start off inexperienced. Many will face a number of distractions. These distractions can be anything from chatty passengers to cell phones to turning up their favorite song on the radio.

Teen drivers may be extra careful to avoid these distractions and pay attention to the road when they first begin driving. But, as they get more comfortable driving, they’re more likely to start engaging in risky driving behaviors.

When teen drivers have other young passengers in the vehicle with them, this crash risk increases. Over half of kids between the ages of eight and 17 who die in a crash are passengers of drivers under 20 years old.

Teen driving deaths seem to be increasing after years of decline which has prompted the AAP to update recommendations for parents and physicians to address risks such as distracted driving, speed and inexperience.

Teen drivers with medical conditions like sleep apnea or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be at an even higher risk since these medical conditions could affect their ability to safely drive.

What Parents Can Do

Parents should:

  • Talk with teens about seat belt use
  • Discuss the risks of impaired driving by illicit substances, alcohol and medication
  • Lessen driving time by promoting the use of safer alternative school routes
  • Practice driving with their teens in numerous environments
  • Ensure teens are getting enough sleep
  • Lead by example (don’t speed, text or drink and drive yourself; buckle up)

Parents can also have their teens take a defensive driving course.  Classes, even online defensive driving programs, usually cover things like:

  • The dangers of drinking and driving
  • Traffic crash statistics
  • Coaching on safety equipment
  • Coaching on the importance of headrests, seat belts, air bags, etc.
  • The risks of driving while stressed, fatigued or angry
  • Crash prevention techniques
  • The respective traffic laws of the teen’s state

Parents should also install a GPS tracking device in their teen’s vehicle to monitor things, like aggressive driving, hard braking, speeding and out-of-boundary driving. These are all alerts parents can receive when they have a GPS teen tracking device.

Driving is a “rite of passage” for most teens. As a parent, you want to help them safely navigate this new privilege. To help even more, you may want to involve the teen’s doctor to share in the conversation of safe driving to set expectations and reduce risks.

If you’re a parent of a newly-licensed teen driver and are considering a GPS tracking device for your teens car, give us a call here at LiveViewGPS and we can help you select the best teen tracker for your needs.  1-888-544-0494

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