Did your teenager recently get his or her driver’s license in Indianapolis? Has your teen started driving to school this year? Many parents worry about teen driving risks and the dangers of car accidents. According to a recent report in Consumer Affairs, a new study suggests that teens become riskier drivers as they age. In other words, older teenage drivers who may have a couple more years experience behind the wheel than younger teen drivers actually take more risks and expose themselves to more dangers than newly licensed drivers.
What else should parents in the Indianapolis area know about auto accident risks and teen driving in relation to the recent study?
Study Addresses Risky Teen Driving Behaviors Based on Age
Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) recently conducted a nationwide survey involving 2,800 teen drivers. What did this survey determine? In short, “teens become riskier drivers as they rise up the ranks.” When teens have been driving for one or two years, those teens assume that they are safer drivers than younger teens. As such, many may be “overly confident” in their abilities to drive safely. With such misconceptions, older teens may believe that they are experienced enough to use a cell phone while they are behind the wheel, to exceed the posted speed limit, or to drive with multiple teenage passengers.
What does the data say? According to the survey, 57 percent of high school seniors who participated have been involved an accident or had a close call. To compare that with newly licensed teen drivers, only 34 percent of those in their sophomore year reported that they had experienced a collision or a near miss.
Why Are Older Teens More Reckless or Careless Behind the Wheel?
One of the reasons that older teens might assume they can be more reckless or careless behind the wheel is that parents may not be doing enough to dissuade their teenagers from performing in risky driving actions. Of those who participated in the studied, approximately 70 percent of teens between the ages of 15 and 16 indicated that their driving privileges would be lost if they were to be involved in an accident, while only about 55 percent of teens aged 18 and older “believed they would experience the same consequence.”
It is important to remember that older teens are still very inexperienced as drivers in general. With only a couple of years of driving experience, many older teens still need significantly more experience in order to become safe drivers. The report recommends that parent encourage safe driving habits, regardless of how long their teenager has been driving. Here are some tips for parents:
- Continue to practice driving with your older teen, even if she or he has had a driver’s license for a year or two;
- Set a good example for your teen driver when you are behind the wheel;
- Use apps that prevent cell phone use whenever your teen is driving;
- Reward your teen’s safe driving; and
- Set and stick to expectations for your teen driver.
If you have questions about filing a car accident claim, an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer can assist you. Contact Holland & Holland to learn more about how we can help with your case.