Teens in Massachusetts get their driver’s licenses nearly every day. With so many new drivers on the road, it’s natural for more car accidents to occur. Teen drivers are more at risk of collisions in the first three months of getting their licenses.
Understanding teen drivers and crash risks
A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that teen drivers are around eight times more likely to get into a car accident or near accident within three months of getting their driver’s licenses. The study, which appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that this is because teens are more likely to take risks while behind the wheel. After getting licenses, teens drive without supervision from a parent or driving instructor, which raises the risks of certain behaviors.
Factors that put teen drivers at risk of accidents
Being inexperienced, teens are less likely to be able to appropriately react to certain situations while driving. Their decision-making is not on the same wavelength as older drivers.
Driving at night can raise the risk of an accident. Teens are unable to drive at night while they only have permits, so they might have difficulty in the dark once they get their licenses.
Many teen drivers feel invincible, so they might increase their speed while driving. This poses serious risks of a deadly car crash. Speeding makes it more difficult to react to potentially dangerous situations and stop when necessary. It leads to losing control of the vehicle and disaster.
Distracted driving is a terrible habit that significantly puts teen drivers at risk. Many kids think they can safely drive while using their phones to text, snap pictures and even post on social media. In reality, distraction leads to accidents.
Teen drivers have a higher risk of accidents, but parents can help them reduce that risk by instilling responsibility in their kids.