Driving is an activity that requires practice, just like playing the piano or perfecting your golf stroke. Teens should be taught by certified instructors and then have up to 50 hours of supervised driving on various roadways and in different types of weather. They need to learn how to parallel park, make safe turns, what to look for at intersections, to not tailgate and to compensate for blind spots, among others. Because of inexperience, teens are less likely to recognize a hazard.
2Speeding and reckless driving.
Teens are more apt to speed than other age groups. Risk taking is not uncommon for many teens who feel their abilities are greater than they really are and fail to appreciate the risks of speeding. They are also more inclined to go through a red light or stop sign, make an unsafe turn and to tailgate.
3Presence of teenage passengers.
Having your friends in the car is fun but also disruptive and dangerous. Researchers have found that teen passengers alone with a teen driver significantly increases the risk of causing or being in an accident. Teen drivers in these situations tend to pay less attention to driving, and may take more risks to impress their passengers or because they have been dared or goaded into it.
It seems as if every teen has a cell phone, which is generally a good thing so parents can easily contact them. However, these devices are dangerous in motor vehicles because so many people text and drive. Surveys show that 50% of high school students who drive have admitted to texting and driving. The practice has surpassed drunk driving as the major cause of teen auto fatalities.
5Drinking or doing drugs and driving.
Teens may not drink as much as adults, but they are not used to the effects of alcohol and tend to binge drink when they do. 30% of high school students admit getting into a car with a drunk driver at least once. Teenage drinking and driving may be on the decline, but it remains a major problem. It may not help that with more states legalizing recreational use of marijuana that it will become more accessible by teens who will take it and then drive.
Teens were found to be particularly at risk for being in a car accident at night. Visibility is more limited and if speeding, you have even less time to react to a dangerous situation. More drinking occurs at night among teens and adults as well.