As much as parents want to protect their high-school-aged children, part of the high school experience is learning how to drive and getting a driver’s license. Teenagers are incredibly excited about this, while parents may be more hesitant for the right reasons.
Teenagers make driving mistakes often, even after passing their driver’s license test. It takes experience to learn how to drive well and to get that experience. The teenager needs time behind the wheel to learn.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that thousands of teenagers die yearly in car crashes. These numbers are concerning, especially for parents of teenagers.
What are the most common mistakes teenagers make while driving? The most common reasons why teenagers get into accidents are:
- Driving distracted: the use of technology, including cell phones, smartphones, and GPS devices and having other teenagers with them in the car can cause a young driver to lose control of their vehicle.
- No seatbelts: one of the most common mistakes teenagers make is not wearing seatbelts. Remember that most teenagers’ brains fully develop at age 25.
- Weather conditions: Parents or guardians must kindly yet clearly inform teenagers how weather can require a change in their approach to driving.
Are teenagers’ parents helpless in this?
Not necessarily. Parents can talk to their children. It is essential to have a relationship based on trust so your teenager knows that you are sharing this information with them because you care, not because you are nagging, which is what many teenagers think.
There are several phone-based applications that parents and teenagers can install on their phones. These electronic applications can serve to supervise your teenager and as a way to evaluate their driving patterns. It can also help them reach you if they get into an accident.
Teenagers must learn how to drive; with experience, most of them will. While they gain that experience, parents and guardians must guide them until their children are experienced enough to understand the risks involved whenever they get behind the wheel.