The number one killer of teenagers in the United States is car accidents. This is just one of the disturbing facts shared by Insurance.com. Teens are the age group with the highest risk of motor vehicle accidents of any demographic group, and teenagers are three times as likely to get into a fatal crash as drivers who are aged 20 or older.
While these statistics are very disturbing, these terrible trends do not have to continue. Prevention of collisions among teen drivers is possible, and there are a few key steps which teens and parents can take to reduce the risk of crashes significantly.
Prevention of West Palm Beach Teen Crashes is Possible
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has conducted a comprehensive study of teen crashes and found distracted driving actually plays a bigger role in causing accidents among young motorists than was previously believed based on police report data.
After analyzing the six second period leading up to an estimated 1,700 teen driving accidents, distracted driving was found to play a part in 58 percent of the collisions. This is much greater than the official estimates, which suggest only 14 percent of teen driver crashes are caused by distraction.
Cell phones are actually not the biggest culprit when it comes to distracting teens behind the wheel, although phone use is the second most common reason why teens don't pay attention. Cell phone use use is the cause of around 12 percent of the collisions studied. Other top causes of distraction among teen drivers involved in accidents included:
- Interacting with passengers, which played a role in 15 percent of collisions.
- Looking at something inside of the car, which was a cause of 10 percent of crashes.
- Looking at something outside of the vehicle, which caused around nine percent of teen collisions.
- Singing to music or moving to music, which was the cause of eight percent of collisions.
- Grooming, which was the cause of six percent of crashes studied.
- Reaching for something, like an object, which was the cause of six percent of the crashes.
Parents can help to prevent teens from engaging in these distracted behaviors. Parents need to enforce strict driving rules, including limiting the number of passengers who are in the car with their kids at any given time. Parents should also model good behaviors for their young children, as kids are always watching and are more likely to be distracted behind the wheel if their parents are distracted when they drive. Finally, parents are advised to spend time driving with their teens in different conditions to see if the kids are good drivers and to find areas where their teens can improve.
All of these steps should be taken to reduce the chances young teen drivers will either endanger themselves or cause accidents endangering others on Florida's roads.