With summer here, more teen drivers are on the road than ever–if that’s not scary enough, one of them may even be yours! Teens are twice as likely to be in an accident during the summer, and studies show that alcohol is often an underlying factor.
Neuroscience has proven that the teenage brain does not consider risk as heavily as a more well-seasoned mind. Even the most obedient and well-intentioned teen will take bigger chances while behind the wheel–it’s simply how their brain functions. There’s no such thing as a safe teen driver.
Unsurprisingly, insurance companies and childrens’ hospitals support a great number of the studies into the driving habits of teens. One such study found that of all the fatal accidents caused by teen drivers on the road, three quarters centered on three deadly mistakes:
- Excessive speeds in unfriendly weather conditions
- Insufficient attention paid to the road in front or to the sides
- Distraction by something – or someone – inside or outside the vehicle
One-car crashes make up more than half of all fatal teen accidents–due primarily to speeding. High velocity goes together poorly with inexperienced teen drivers’ tendency to misjudge curves or bumps in the road. Thousands of fatal accidents occur every year.
The best defense you can take against teenage driving tragedies is communication. Sit down with your teen and do your best to get across the danger of unsafe driving. Though largely symbolic, a contract between you and your teen does more than just put in writing a promise not to drink or use a cellphone while driving: it provides them a concrete point of reference that may well orient their thought process as they approach a risky situation. You can use this contract developed by the American Pediatrics Association and the Centers for Disease Control.
You may also want to send your teen to a safe driving school. The American Automobile Association (AAA) is just one of several organizations that offer classes in safe driving for teens.
Our focus is the well-being and care of your family, no matter what. If you would like to have a talk about protecting your family through legal planning, call our office today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
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