2020 was quite the whirlwind of a year. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many new changes into the world we live in, and much of the change was out of any of our control. I asked myself, how can we get a good start to the new year? Let’s start 2021 with safety in mind! We can ensure that our teens are driving safely by providing them with risk reduction strategies, showing them proper technique, and getting lots of practice (which has become one of the few activities we can safely do together as a family)!
We tend to worry about our teens in so many aspects; let’s not make driving one of them! When you know that your teen can drive safely and confidently, there is much less worry when they begin to hit the roads independently. Of course, the risk of getting into a collision is always there, but the right tools and practice can significantly decrease the risk. First, let’s take a look at some of the stats!
Explaining the Statistics
It’s clear that teen drivers’ statistics are scary, but for us to reduce the risk for our teens, we have to understand why. The top five reasons why teen drivers are most at risk are:
- Driver inexperience
- Underestimating risk
- Less aware of the negative consequences
- More willing to engage in risky behaviour
- Peer pressure
Driver inexperience is the leading cause of teen collisions. Why? Because many teens do not get enough practice in different situations. For example, your teen may be a great driver on a sunny day with dry roads; however, adverse weather may decrease your teen’s ability to adapt their driving behavior to new conditions. A great way to reduce the risk of driver inexperience is by enrolling your teen into a driver’s education program! Driver’s ed programs allow your teen to learn the fundamentals of driving with a professional. It is important to remember that just because your teen completed a driver’s education program does not mean that they are ready to independently take on the road. Your teen needs lots of practice to ensure that they are confident and fully prepared! Don’t let your teen become a zero-hour practice student. Ensure that you practice the driving skills your teen has learned in the driver’s education program again and again to sharpen their instincts and risk reduction strategies! Don’t know where to start? Coaching New Drivers offers a great program for parents to coach their teens from the passenger seat. Want to learn more? Visit our homepage.
Underestimating Risk/Less Aware of Negative Consequences
Underestimating risk goes hand-in-hand with driver inexperience. When your teen does not have enough experience behind the wheel, it is difficult for them to understand the level of risk they will experience while driving. So, what can you do? Practice, practice, practice! The more practice your teen gets behind the wheel with your supervision, the better prepared they will be. As your teen is driving, point out possible risks and use the small things you do subconsciously while driving as a teaching moment to continually prepare them. Here are some examples:
Although your teen may understand that there are risks that come with driving, they must understand the negative consequences that can occur. Sit down with your teen after each driving session and explain any negative effects that could have happened. The more knowledge they have, the better prepared they will be when they are driving independently.
Risky Behaviour/Peer Pressure
We all remember what it was like to be a teen; you feel all sorts of pressure, especially from your friends. This kind of pressure leads many teens to engage in risky behavior, which can have severe consequences. The best thing you can do is educate your teen about the risks of risky behavior, mostly reckless driving. It may be useful to implement a driving contract with your teen, where they agree to drive safely and carefully. If they do not and are engaging in any form of reckless driving that there will be consequences of losing driving privileges.
Practicing and talking with your teen are the best ways to lower your teen’s risk of getting into a collision. To learn more about how you can coach and prepare your teen, visit our homepage. As a great way to start the New Year, from now until January 31, we are offering 70% off our full course package! Use the code NEWYEAR 70 at the checkout page to receive your exclusive discount!
ePermitTest. (2020, November 25). Inexperienced Driver Statistics 2020: The Leading Cause of Teenage Death. [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.epermittest.com/drivers-education/inexperienced-drivers-statistics
CDC. (2020). Keep Teen Drivers Safe. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/teen-drivers/index.html#:~:text=for%20U.S.%20teens.-,Almost%202%2C500%20teens%20aged%2013%E2%80%9319%20lost%20their%20lives%20in,fatal%20crash%2C%20per%20mile%20driven.