Do you have a teen driver or one getting ready to drive? Congrats! Also, it’s gonna be ok! Getting a drivers license can be a scary time for a parent. It’s a huge responsibility for a teen. All of a sudden you go from chauffeur to having one and you aren’t only worried about your teen, but all of the people they will encounter on the roads.
The good news is your teen can do this! You did when you were their age. The last 16 or so years have been all about building responsible, resilient and respectful teens. So now is time to put those skills into practice.
And more good news – now you have something besides their phone to hold out as a privilege that needs to be earned!
First, we have to get the scary statistics out of the way so you can understand (and help your teen understand) what a big deal driving it.
Teen Driving by the Numbers
- Even more good news – teen fatalities at the wheel have dropped by 60% from 2002 to 2011
- Cautionary tale: the majority of those accidents happen when there are other 13-17 year olds in the car
- In 2015, 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2014. That means that six teens ages 16–19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.
- Males: In 2014, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was two times that of their female counterparts.
- Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
- Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure. The crash rate per mile driven is 3 times higher for 16-17 year olds as compared to 18-19 year olds.
So How Do You Keep Your Teen Safe
There are some things you can do to keep your teen safe while driving.
- Prepare them for emergency situations – what to do if they get a flat tire or in an accident?
- Make sure they are emotionally and physically ready to be a driver. Give them lots and lots of practice under your supervision to make sure they are ready.
- Create a set of rules for driving and WRITE THEM DOWN. Can they have people in the car? How old can those people be? Where can they go? When can they use it?
If you need help setting the rules of the road for your teen, be sure to download my printable driving contract. Just click the button below.
Do you have a teen that is driving? What rules do you have for safe driving? Share in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook.