Teen drivers aged 16-19 are more at risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash than any other age group. Teens also have a higher rate of fatal crashes than any other age group.
There are a number of risk factors facing teen drivers, including:
- Immaturity, lack of skills and lack of experience – which makes teens more likely to take risks and less likely to spot hazards
- Underestimating dangers – such as poor visibility and bad weather conditions
- Speeding – over the speed limit, or too fast for the conditions
- Distracted driving – teens aren’t the only ones to drive distracted, but their inexperience behind the wheel makes them more susceptible to the dangers of distracted driving
- Passengers – it’s not just phones that can distract drivers; passengers can be distracting too. Teen drivers – who don’t have much experience on the road – are particularly likely to become distracted by other teen drivers, who might not appreciate just how distracting their behavior can be
- Alcohol – any amount of alcohol impairs drivers, even if they are under the legal limit. And an impaired driver is more likely to take risks on the road
- Seatbelts – the majority of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing one won’t prevent your teen from crashing, but it could save their life if they do crash
The good news is that almost all road crashes CAN be prevented.