Parents can help their teens to be safer drivers by simply talking to them about safe driving, according to a recent University of Iowa study. Although the number of teen motor vehicle accidents is declining, there are still thousands of car accidents involving young drivers each year and car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. Combined with other safety measures, conversations about safe driving can help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities associated with teen drivers.
Researchers from the College of Public Health and the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) studied 150 families with teen drivers who had recently received their driver’s licenses. For three years, the drivers were observed through onboard video-monitoring systems.
Fifty of the parents were notified about their teen’s unsafe driving events and fifty were not. The remaining 50 were notified and also agreed to have a series of conversations with their teens about safe driving.
Researchers at the College of Public Health used techniques from their Steering Teens Safe program, a parent guide that focuses on improving parent communication to motivate their teens to be safer drivers. The 50 teen drivers who engaged in the conversations with their parents had 80 percent fewer unsafe driving incidents than the drivers who did not. According to the study’s authors, Driver’s Education or Graduated Driver’s Licenses policies combined with empathetic, non-coercive feedback from their parents effectively motivates teens to be safer on the roads.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2017, 3,255 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes. Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 and older.
Crashes are more likely to occur in the first six months of driving, when young drivers may lack the maturity, skills, and experience necessary to navigate the roads safely. Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents, especially those involving teens. Texting while driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to crash, according to the NHTSA.
Parents should inform their teens about the dangers of distracted driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving, and speeding. Teens should also be encouraged to drive defensively, particularly during the summer, when drivers are more likely to be under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. Half of young adults ages 16 to 20 years old who died in car accidents in 2016 were not wearing their seat belt – urge teens to buckle up every time they drive or ride in a vehicle. Finally, teens are encouraged to drive safer when they see their parents implementing safe driving behaviors. Therefore, parents can help their teens by setting a good example.
If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a car crash, contact a Cherry Hill car accident lawyer at Williams Cedar. We can help you file a personal injury claim and obtain the compensation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys represent clients in Cherry Hill, South Jersey, and nationwide from our offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 today.