Car accidents are the number one cause of death for motorists aged 15 to 19. To increase safety, Michigan has a two-step system for young students who want to earn their driving credentials. This graduated licensing structure includes instruction for teenagers on how to recognize high-risk driving situations.
The extended program allots young drivers additional time and extra training to help them become responsible motorists. Additionally, this system increases the academic requirements for novice drivers and emphasizes increased adult supervision. This is all an effort to make the roads safer, as teen drivers under 18 are responsible for 6.7 percent of serious vehicle accidents in Michigan alone.
Distracted Teen Drivers are a Threat
Teen drivers are easily distracted by mobile apps, texting, loud music, social networking sites, and their young passengers. They’re also less likely to use seat belts and are more prone to speeding. These irresponsible actions often cause vehicle crashes and sometimes lead to death. Out of all drivers under 18 who were involved in fatal crashes, 10 percent experienced distractions at the time of impact. When compared to drivers of all ages, teens experience the highest fatality rates when distracted driving is identified as the cause.
The most common driving distractions among teens include texting, mobile apps, and passengers. While drivers of all ages are guilty of texting and driving, teens exhibit this behavior more often than any other age group. Teens are also more likely to take their eyes off the road to change music selections or to check social media platforms. Since teens often have passengers of the same age group in their cars, the distracted behavior multiplies. This causes the driver to ignore traffic laws, road signs, and speed limits.
How Parents Can Help their Teen Drivers
Parents can help their teens become better drivers by setting good examples. This includes wearing seat belts, staying off phones while driving, and observing speed limits. To reduce the risk of accidents, parents need to get involved by scheduling regular practice times. Set at least 30 minutes aside each week for driving practice.
During these sessions, parents should provide useful, honest feedback and encourage questions. Additionally, parents should find out how other people are teaching their kids to drive. This helps ensure that teens aren’t learning bad driving behaviors from friends and family members.
Even the best driver runs the risk of being involved in an accident when they get behind the wheel. If your teen driver was involved in a car accident, don’t assume that they were at fault. Instead, contact the car accident attorneys at Michigan legal Center to discuss your legal options. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.