Teen driving dangers
Teen drivers face additional risks due to inexperience, risk-taking driving behaviours, higher risk circumstances such as driving in the evenings and alcohol involvement and a preference to drive certain types of vehicles that have higher accident rates.
All new drivers face many risks. But your new, teenage driver faces additional risks. They are:
1. Inexperience in driving
Your new, young driver is learning many new skills and concepts, all at once, and often in a very stressful environment:
- How to use and control a vehicle’s immense power and force.
- How to move this powerful vehicle in relation to other vehicles.
- The rules of the road.
- How to react and manoeuver based on the behaviour of other drivers.
2. Risk-taking driving behaviours
It's a fact: the teen years are a time of increased risk-taking in all aspects of a teen's life, including his or her time on the road. The urge to experiment and push boundaries that is often associated with this age group, combined with inexperience, can be dangerous.
3. Higher risk circumstances add to teen driving dangers
- Teens in cars—whether as drivers or passengers—can find themselves in risky circumstances.
- Passengers can be a dangerous distraction for new drivers.
- Teens often drive at high-risk times such as Friday or Saturday nights.
- Teen drivers are more susceptible to peer pressure than older drivers. If their friends aren't wearing seatbelts, they may not want to either. (Teen males between 16 and 19 have the lowest rate of seatbelt use in B.C.)
- The teen years are a time for experimentation and good judgment does not always prevail.
4. Teens may not be experienced enough to operate certain cars or motorcycles
Many teens can't wait to own a car. But some young drivers may not understand or appreciate the importance of maintaining their vehicles. You can help your teen by taking an active role to ensure that their car is kept in safe operating condition. And some of the newer cars that appeal to young drivers have safety concerns too:
- Statistics show that occupants of small cars that are in crashes have a higher injury and death rate than occupants of large cars.
- Under certain conditions, small trucks and SUVs may be more prone to roll-overs than other types of vehicles.
- High-performance cars and motorcycles may encourage youths to drive beyond their experience level.
Check out these other useful tips and insights that will help you and your teen understand and reduce road safety risks: