Keeping Your Teen Driver Safe

Here are tips to help avoid teen crashes and stay safe on the road.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), inexperience and immaturity are often to blame for risky teen driving behavior. This may explain why motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities in the U.S.

Here are tips to help avoid teen crashes and stay safe on the road:

• Restrict Night Driving. Close to two-thirds of fatal crashes that happen at night are speed related and involve 16-year-old drivers.

• Keep a Safe Following Distance. In normal driving conditions, the general rule is “three seconds plus.”  When the vehicle in front of you passes a stationary object, begin counting. You should reach that same object no sooner than three seconds, four seconds ideally. Increase following distance when visibility is poor or you’re in traffic.

• Enforce Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws. Many states have rules that prevent teens from driving at night or with other teens. Know the laws in your state and possibly set stricter standards.

• Limit Teen Passengers. Research has shown significant reductions in deaths were associated with graduated driving laws, including a restriction on carrying passengers or the number and age of passengers carried.

• Share the Car to Prevent Speeding. Parents can also set a good example by practicing safe driving themselves. Discuss Consequences. Teenage speeding puts lives and licenses on the line. It can also be expensive, and pricey tickets can increase insurance rates.

• Be Involved. Frequently ride with your teens to be sure they’re being safe. And when you’re driving, be a good role model. Always travel at a speed appropriate for the road conditions.