As a parent, you probably have some jitters about your teen driver. And that’s completely understandable considering the fact that teens are statistically more likely to be involved in a crash than the general population.
Auto accidents are the number one cause of deaths for teenage drivers, affecting more than alcohol, drugs and suicide combined. Teens are at risk because they are inexperienced and teenage drivers are more likely to:
- Drive aggressively
- Not wear seat belts
- Underestimate the dangers associated with hazardous driving situations
Teenage drivers also have the highest percentage of crashes involving speeding, single-vehicle crashes, crashes with driver error and the highest vehicle occupancy or number of passengers in the vehicle.
The good news is there’s plenty you can do to keep newly minted drivers safe behind the wheel. It all starts with information — and the following sites, all created by trusted federal and national organizations, can help. (Added bonus: Many of them also include fun features like podcasts and downloadable videos.) So click over any (or all) of them to learn how to have an important — and possibly life-saving — conversation with your teen driver.
Most young American drivers agree that it is dangerous to text while driving, but nearly one-third admit they do it anyway, according to a survey by Consumer Reports. Learn more about the texting laws in your state.
Links of Interest:
Indiana Graduated Driver’s License System (requirements for permits, license, etc)
Young Drivers: The High-Risk Years (16 min) video
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Teen Driver Safety
Tucked within this catch-all site for all things safety is a special section on teen driving. It’s full of hard research and stats as well as creative materials — among them, audio and video clips, toolkits and posters — you can use to raise awareness in your home and in your wider community.
Distraction.gov – Teens
Just a few of the features on this well-designed site include a clickable map detailing each state’s distracted driving laws, fast facts about the issue and a pledge form for anyone ready to commit to phone-free driving. Also, make sure to check out the Faces section — it’s full of high-impact stories and videos of people who lost their lives as a result of their own or others’ distracted driving.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Motor Vehicle Safety: Teen Drivers
The CDC promotes traditional research and facts along with new media and social media resources such as podcasts, e-cards and widgets. There are also links to other helpful sites and a special parents’ section with free branded and customizable materials.
National Safety Council – Teen Driver Safety
This site’s strongest selling point is its information on Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) — a novice driver licensing system that can reduce teen drivers’ high crash risk by 20 to 40 percent. Even if your state doesn’t have a GDL initiative in place, you can jump start your own program by following the step-by-step guide outlined by the experts at the NSC.