Teenagers in New Jersey look forward to the day they get their driver’s license and the freedom it affords them. In their eagerness to drive and due to their inexperience, they are likely to make a few mistakes along the way, sometimes leading to a serious car crash. Parents can take some proactive steps to protect their teen drivers by discussing driver safety with them before handing over the car keys.
Statistics on teens and traffic accidents
It is a sad reality that motor vehicle accidents are the second highest cause of fatalities for teenagers in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2019 alone, nearly 2,400 teens died in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. In fact, teen drivers are three times more apt as drivers ages 20 and above to be involved in a deadly car accident, per mile driven.
Talking points to discuss with your teen driver
One talking point to discuss with your teen driver is distracted driving. Teens may be especially apt to chat with passengers or text while driving. Even tuning the radio or the navigation system while driving can be dangerous.
Another talking point to discuss with your teen is drowsy driving. Teens often have packed schedules between part-time jobs, school and extracurricular activities. A packed schedule combined with the fact that teens need more sleep than adults means that teens may be more apt to drowsy driving.
A third talking point to discuss with your teen is reckless driving. Some teens do not have the maturity or experience to assess risky situations on the road. Speeding, tailgating and other dangerous driving practices can lead to a serious car crash.
A fourth talking point to discuss with your teen is impaired driving. Some teens will experiment with alcohol or drugs. However, drunk driving should be avoided by all drivers, especially teen drivers. Make sure your teen knows that they should never drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.
Help your teen driver stay safe
In addition to discussing safe driving practices with their teens, parents can also help their teen drivers avoid a car crash by being a good role model. If your teen sees you driving responsibly, they will have a better understanding of how to behave when behind the wheel. By keeping the lines of communication open you can help your teen driver avoid becoming another car accident statistic.