Safe Driving for Teenagers

Safe driving practices are important for everyone, but are most important for teen drivers. Teen drivers have the least experience, and recent research shows that they may be neurologically less capable of making responsible judgments than adults. Both of these factors, when taken with statistics on teen driving deaths clearly illustrate the importance of discussing safe driving practices with your teen.

In 2009 nearly 3,000 teens from the ages of 15-19 died from injuries sustained in car crashes. This equals approximately 8 deaths per day. Teaching your teen safe driving practices can be a lifesaver, literally. However, teaching these practices is easier said than done. New neurological research shows that the frontal lobe of the brain is the last portion of the body to mature. This is relevant to teaching your teen safe driving habits, because this is the area of the brain responsible for judgment. While your teen may be mature in all other respects, their judgment is still relatively immature. Instead of relying on good judgment, a rational appeal must be made to teenage drivers.

One oft-overlooked element of teen driver safety is that the more peers in the car, the more likely an accident is to happen. This should be discussed with your teen, and a limit should be placed upon the number of passengers they are allowed to have. A limit like this is part of the laws governing younger drivers in many states.

Another important aspect of teen driving safety is texting and driving. Studies have shown that when texting and driving your eyes are off the road for over 75% of the time. This is best illustrated with another example, for instance imagine wearing a blindfold, or having a covering on your windshield for 75% of the time while driving!

Finally, parents of children who ask questions have children with a lower injury rate. Good questions to ask your teen include: Where are you going? Who are you taking? Who is driving? Will you be drinking? Etc.

Hopefully this article will allow you to effectively inform your teen about safe driving practices. Teen driving safety is an issue of the utmost importance.