The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety announced today their proposal to increase the minimum driving age in all states in the US to age 17. Their reasons are solid and should help reduce the number of accidents involving teenagers.
The Graduated Drivers License program that almost every state has adopted has proven to work. Numbers of teen driver accidents and fatalities have decreased every year since its inception. The GDL program basically adds more supervised driving experience for teens and restricts them from driving during the times when risk is highest. However, more than 5,000 teens are killed in car accidents every year!
Although teens and many parents may not like this change, parents should understand that there are two primary reasons why 16 year olds are most likely to get into accidents- inexperience and immaturity. Parents can help their child get the experience by spending time supervising their teen behind the wheel.
Maturity, on the other hand, can only come with age. The GDL program gives the teen more time for experience but it doesn’t address the problem of immaturity. 16 year olds have the highest crash rate and fatalities of any age group and it’s largely due to peer pressure and not realizing the dangers they face.
16 year olds tend to think they are invincible behind the wheel and when other teens in their car urge them to drive fast; they cave into such pressures much easier.
Whether this proposal passes in Pennsylvania or not, there are steps parents can take to reduce the likelihood of their child causing an accident.
Get a home study driving course and spend as much time possible teaching your teen the skills needed to drive safely.
Delay the time before your teen gets a full license. This will help your teen mature and give you more time to supervise your teen’s driving. This will also show how serious you are about their safety.
Get a GPS Teen Monitoring System. This will instantly reduce the likelihood of your teen driving dangerously. If your teen knows that you’ll be alerted, they will be less tempted to speed or break any other rules that you’ve set forth.
Talk to your teen about the dangers. Communication is probably the most effective way to make your teen a safer driver. Share the statistics and the most common mistakes teens make. Then get a contract in writing that states that your teen understands the dangers and will follow the rules you have set forth. You can download a free parent/teen driver contract by clicking here: http://www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer.
Please feel to comment on this blog or to send me your thoughts to email@example.com.