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You Can’t Scare Teens into Being Good Drivers - Teen Driver Safety Week

Posted on Oct 18, 2016

The primary reason teens are disproportionately involved in serious accidents is that they lack the experience necessary to avoid those situations.

Just in time for changing seasonal driving conditions, the Ninth Annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) will take place on October 16-22, 2016. NTDSW seeks primarily to raise awareness of teen driver safety topics and to encourage safe driving.

It is a fact that the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19-year-olds than among any other age group. However, attempting to scare teen drivers with crash statistics ultimately has little to no effect on frightful teen driving behaviors. Instead, parents need to learn why teens are more likely to be in an accident and to reframe the message in a way that reminds them that driving safe is not a chore, but simply a way of life.

Parents: Teens Crash Because They Are Inexperienced Drivers

When teen drivers crash, it is not simply a matter of them being inherently reckless. Of all the major factors that increase the risk of accidents, impaired or distracted driving, fatigue, excess passengers or poor weather, the primary reason teens are disproportionately involved in serious accidents is that they lack the experience necessary to avoid those situations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that teens tend to underestimate dangerous situations or fail to recognize hazardous situations, such as stopping distances and slippery roads. And they are also more likely to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next) when driving.

But, simply reminding teens they are prone to accidents won’t actually change their behavior.

Prevention

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens largely due to their lack of driving experience and propensity for risk-taking behavior. Parents must be vigilant and talk, not scare, their teens into good driving habits. This means:

  • Setting a good example for teen drivers by not driving distracted, speeding or failing to wear a seatbelt.
  • Enforcing and setting household driving rules.
  • Encouraging teens to constantly practice and build up driving skills, even after getting their license.
  • Driving with your teen often. While GDL programs require teens to drive under the supervision of a licensed driver while they have a permit, it is important to continue to drive with them once they get their license and to help them to improve.

Hupy and Abraham is committed to preventing teen automobile accidents. To help remind your teen driver and others to be safe behind the wheel, get them a free DNT TXT N DRV bumper sticker HERE.

In the event that you or your teenage driver is injured in an automobile accident, contact Hupy and Abraham right away to schedule a free consultation. Call 800-800-5678, or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.