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The Greatest Risk For Teenage Drivers? Lack of Experience

The Greatest Risk For Teenage Drivers? Lack of Experience

Adolescents are known to take chances, succumb to peer pressure, overestimate their abilities, and have emotional mood swings. Each of these behaviors can increase the likelihood for the teenage driver to be involved in an automobile crash. Investigations have shown that “the cause of teenage crashes is not the skill with which they can drive, but the judgment they exercise while driving,” according to an editorial in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Dr. Simons-Morton of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has concluded from research that “safe driving judgment, as with all complex activities, comes only with experience.”

Inexperienced drivers are left with a Catch-22: Lack of experience makes puts them at high risk of being involved in an accident, and the only way to improve as a driver is more experience. One of the safest methods to increase experience for new teen drivers is supervised driving sessions with their parents, before and after they have obtained their license. This provides a real-time, constructive environment in which to get hands-on experience, all while being monitored by their parents, legal guardian, or other knowledgable driver with years of experience under their belt. By continuing supervised driving practice sessions, this can help mitigate risks for your children and loved ones.

However, drivers’ education begins long before a child even touches the steering wheel. It is difficult to enforce rules on children that the parents do not follow themselves. It is important to keep in mind that parents should model safe driving habits at all times, but especially while their child is observing.

Since 2014, along with the use of electronic devices, teenage motor vehicle fatalities have risen, according to a new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Mobile technology is always evolving, and with it comes a multitude of distractions. Calls, texts, and the ever-growing list of social media apps present a wave of distractions. Aside from cell phones, teens will put their focus to the test amidst the distractions of other (teenage) passengers, limited nighttime visibility, and the lure of mind-altering substances like alcohol and marijuana.

New drivers will need all the support they can get to stay safe behind the wheel. You can help minimize car wrecks by providing constructive criticism and supervision to the less-experienced driver.

After more than 25 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our form online, or call (214) 526-7900, and we will get you on the road to recovery.

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