What You Can Do About Teen Driver Safety

Teen driver safety is a matter of life or death. They are four times more likely to wreck their cars than older drivers, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Data also shows that more than 5,500 teenagers die every year in car accidents. What can you do to keep your kids from being part of the statistics?

More than 30 states found the answer in graduating license programs, where 15-year-olds are given a learner’s permit that allows them to drive as long as a responsible adult is in the car. Once they turn 16, they are granted restricted licenses in which they can drive during the day and complete certain hours of adult-supervised driving. The number of companions is also limited, since statistics show teens are more likely to get in an accident when driving with friends.

On their 18th birthday they finally get an unrestricted driver’s license. Hopefully by then they’ll have enough experience and be more mature to sit behind the wheel.

Even if you’re not in a graduated-license state, you can enforce a program of your own. Sure it’s easier letting them drive themselves instead of you having to run back and forth between football practice and piano lessons, but it may save your kids’ lives.

When you do give them the car keys make sure they drive a safe car. It may not be the coolest, but a vehicle that’s in good condition, is reliable and has good crash test scores is the best choice for your teen.

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