Teen driving fatalities have been increasing in Tennessee and in the rest of the country, making it important for parents to teach their teens to drive safely. Teaching safe driving practices may help to save the lives of teens as well as those of others who are on the roads around them. Teen drivers have less experience than older drivers and are likelier to engage in risky behaviors. The widespread use of cell phones and apps has also contributed to the increase in accidents. There are several things that parents should keep in mind when they are teaching their teens to drive.
Why Are Teen Accidents Increasing?
Teen driving fatalities steadily declined from the middle part of the 1970s until about four years ago. Since that time, the number of teen driving fatalities has been increasing. Almost 3,000 teens are killed in motor vehicle accidents every year. One of the major contributing factors to the increase in teen driving fatalities is the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while the teens are driving. Using a cell phone while driving to text, talk, check social media, or use apps diverts the attention of teens away from the road. While their eyes are off of the road, the vehicles that they are driving can travel hundreds of feet. Since they are inexperienced drivers, they may not react the correct way to avoid collisions. Other issues that have contributed to the increase in accidents include driving while drunk, speeding, not wearing seatbelts, driving while they are drowsy, and driving with passengers in their vehicles.
Teaching Teens to Drive Safely
Parents can help to prevent their teens from being involved in an accident by teaching them to drive safely at all times. It is a good idea for them to enroll their children in drivers’ education courses. Once they have completed these classes, the parents should regularly take them to practice driving. Parents should view the state’s required supervised driving hours as a minimum amount and should aim to teach them more. They should also model safe driving practices themselves by always wearing seatbelts, following speed limits, and not checking their cell phones while they drive. Teaching teens to drive safely may save their lives and those of others.