Beginning Drivers' Crashes Differ
Teen drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group. Per mile traveled, they have the highest involvement rates in all types of crashes, from those involving only property damage to those that are fatal. The problem is worst among 16 year-olds, who have the most limited driving experience and an immaturity that often results in risk-taking behind the wheel. The characteristics of 16 year-olds' fatal crashes highlight these problems:
Percentage of Fatal Crashes by Characteristic, 1998
Driver Error: Compared with crashes of older drivers, those of 16 year-olds more often involve driver error.
Speeding: Sixteen-year-old drivers have a higher rate of crashes in which excessive speed is a factor.
Single-Vehicle Crashes: More of 16 year-olds' fatal crashes involve only the teen's vehicle. Typically these are high-speed crashes in which the driver lost control.
Passengers: Sixteen year-olds' fatal crashes are more likely to occur when other teenagers are in the car. The risk increases with every additional passenger.
Alcohol: Although this is a problem among drivers of all ages, it's actually less of a problem for 16 year-olds. Thirteen percent of fatally injured drivers in 1998 had positive blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). Only 8% had BACs of 0.01 % or greater.
Night Driving: This is a high-risk activity for beginners. Per mile driven, the nighttime fatal crash rate for 16 year-olds is about twice as high as during the day.
Low Belt Use: Teenagers are generally less likely than adults to use safety belts.
What Parents of Teenagers Can Do
Don't Rely Solely on Driver Education
Restrict Night Driving
Supervise Practice Driving
Remember…You Are A Role Model
Require Safety Belt Use
Prohibit Driving After Drinking
Choose Vehicles for Safety, Not Image
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
For further information please visit:http://www.highwaysafety.org