Driving can be dangerous. No one can entirely remove the risk of accidents, regardless of who is at fault. People with more driving experience and practice may be aware of safety measures to protect themselves. However, it is different for teenage drivers.
As teenagers learn to drive and begin practicing behind the wheel, they also face specific hazards that come with being a beginner. This situation presents various risk factors, including the following:
- Their sense of responsibility is different from adults.
- They lack specific driving skills gained through experience.
- They tend to make mistakes on the road.
- They are usually easier to distract.
- Their immaturity could affect their decision-making.
These risk factors are inevitable as they are typical for teenagers. The stakes are high, with 2,276 teen drivers killed in accidents in 2020 alone. The government takes these hazards seriously.
States offer varying versions of the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system that restricts inexperienced drivers and shields them from risky situations on the road. It usually has three stages that consider both teen and beginner drivers.
What can I do to keep my teenager safe?
The people who potentially have the most influence over teenagers are the adults within the family. As a mature driver with more experience, you could supervise your teenage child or relative whenever they practice. You could also set curfews or rules to avoid high-risk road conditions, such as inclement weather and driving at night.
Additionally, you could teach them about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. However, they might learn more if you serve as their role model. Aside from guiding them, you could show them how a responsible driver acts or behaves when you are behind the wheel, reinforcing that safe driving should be the standard.
Their driving lessons could cover the educational aspect of driving, but your involvement might be more valuable during practice.