Many parents of teens want to see their children succeed in life and gain their independence. One way of doing this is by letting them learn to drive and helping them get their driver's license. No longer do Mom or Dad have to take their teenager to extracurricular activities or drive them to the movies. The older children can now run the younger ones to their friend's house or drop them off at school. But before you celebrate your teen's newfound freedom by booking a cheap flight to your favorite travel destination, you'll want to be aware of the harsh realities of teens and driving.
Teen Accident Facts and Statistics
Teenagers are one of the most vulnerable groups of people out on the road today. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are now the leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2011, seven teens a day ages 16 to 19 died from injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Young male drivers and passengers are especially at risk on the road. Male teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were twice as likely to die than females of the same age. In 2013, another statistic shows, deaths while texting and driving surpassed that of drinking and driving. More than 3,000 teenagers die each year from motor vehicle accidents caused by texting and driving. More than 50 percent of teen drivers admit to texting and driving, and a quarter of teens have reportedly responded to a text once or more every time they drive.
Why Teenagers Are at Risk
There are many reasons teenagers are at risk for getting into motor vehicle accidents and either being injured or dying as a result. One is that they simply lack experience driving in various types of conditions. Besides distracted driving, which can include talking on the phone, changing the radio station, eating, or having friends in the car, teenagers often underestimate dangerous situations. Some teenagers simply drive too fast or don't wear their seat belt. They also don't always practice defensive driving and are overconfident in their driving abilities.
Death and Injury Prevention for Teen Drivers and Passengers
The statistics might be sobering when it comes to the realization of how dangerous the road is for teenagers. This information might make parents want to get away from it all. Before looking into cheap flights, parents need to realize that a hard dose of reality is often what it takes to get people to understand the problem and find ways to fix it. There is much being done to prevent injury and death to teen drivers and passengers. New laws are being passed to help keep teens safe. Currently, Washington, DC, and 37 states have passed laws to ban cell phone use by novice or teen drivers. Forty-six states ban text messaging for all drivers.
Further Driving Education and Training for Teens
After going through a driver's education course, a teenager with a learner's permit is usually required to drive with an adult or other licensed driver for a specified amount of hours before getting their driver's license. Getting the license normally requires an eye exam, a written exam, and a driving exam. Once teens pass, they get their ticket to freedom. Unfortunately, the next couple of months after they pass is when crashes are most likely to happen. This is why many organizations are realizing the need for more driver training before teenagers are able to independently operate a motor vehicle.
How Technology Can Help Keep Your Teen Driver Safe
Besides new laws that are being passed and the chance to take more driver training, many companies are using technology to find ways to keep teens safe. For instance, GPS devices make it possible for drivers to find their destination with directions that are given out loud. This makes it possible to travel without having to look at a screen or a map for directions. Rear cameras provide a way for teen drivers to park and back up more easily. There is also phone suppression technology that stops an incoming call or text and sends an automated message saying the driver is busy driving. Another device alerts parents through their cell phone if their teen is driving too fast or if they are driving the vehicle past a preset time. While some of these devices aren't cheap, they can definitely be worth having.