You learned teenage driving safety at the Drivers Ed classes at school, and practiced with your learner's permit. You passed the driving test. You got your driver's license. And now it's Friday night. Why won't your parents let your borrow the car?
Unfair as it may seem, your parents have good reason to worry about you using the car. And the truth is they have studies, statistics, and history to back up their worries on teenage driving safety.
Teenage Driving Safety—It's a drag, but the stats are against you
Teenage drivers are a major hazard. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. Car crashes and deaths are higher among teenagers than any other age group, and teen drivers are more likely to be at fault in the accident. In 1998, 5,606 teenagers died in car crashes that's one every 94 minutes.
A driver's immaturity and inexperience is usually to blame for the high accident rates. Risky behaviors like speeding, racing, or tailgating shows immaturity and poor judgment.
Inexperience can cause fatal judgment errors. Of all the 16-year-olds in fatal crashes, 41% involved only the teen's vehicle, which usually left the road, overturned, or hit an object.
Teenage Driving Safety—Friends may be hazardous to your health
Having friends in the car also increases the accident risk. If you're 16 or 17 and you have three passengers in the car, you're almost three times more likely to have a fatal car crash. Fun as they are, your friends can be a distraction.
The statistics are bad, BUT you still want to have a life and use the car. Here are some teenage driving safety tips that you can do to convince your parents that you're ready for the responsibility of driving.
- Get More Experience: Run errands. Go to the store for milk or pick your little brother up from practice. If they won't let you take the car out alone, offer to drive when they're with you.
- Obey Your License Restrictions: A lot of states have rules for new drivers. Let your parents know that you know them and you're serious about them.
- Wear Your Seatbelt: Make sure your parents know that teenage driving safety is important to you.
- Don't Drink and Drive: Drinking and driving is down among teenagers, more so than any other age group, but it's still a problem. Drinking and driving kills. It could kill you, your passengers and anyone you hit. And remember, it is illegal to buy an alcoholic beverage if you are under the age of 21.
- Obey Your Parents Rules for Teenage Driving Safety: Follow any limits they've placed on their car. Stay off the highway; have the car home on time; don't run out of gas. You'll earn their respect and more car time.
- Use Good Judgment on Teenage Driving Safety: Keep the music at a level where you can hear outside traffic. Don't talk on a cell phone while driving. Wait until you stop to change radio stations. Limit the number of friends you have in the car. Don't speed.
Driving is fun and the freedom to get around is great. Just remember it's also a huge responsibility. Keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe and know teenage driving safety tips.