If you have teen drivers in your family, you may worry about their safety when they get behind the wheel. There are many distractions that may take their eyes off the road, from texting to chatting with friends who ride with them. This is a common concern for parents, but just how likely is a fatal accident for the teens in your family?
The Washington Post notes that fatal crashes involving teens have dropped by nearly 50%. However, the risk is still present, and understanding what causes these trends may help keep your teen drivers safer.
Reasons for the decrease
While the sharp decrease in teen driver crashes is good news, there are several reasons behind it. The decrease occurred over the past ten years, during which time some circumstances changed for these individuals, including:
- Fewer teens seeking licenses
- Tougher rules for teen drivers in many states
- Graduated driver licensing programs for teens
The licensing programs focus on encouraging teens to practice safer driving habits and placing restrictions on night driving and passenger restrictions for teen drivers under the age of 18.
Possible future trends
Teen driving fatalities may continue to drop as more states employ the GDL program for teen drivers 17 or younger and increase tougher laws for circumstances that may cause these crashes, such as cell phone use while driving. Texting and driving is a common factor in car wrecks involving teen drivers, as inattention to the road can cause rear-end collisions and drifting into other lanes of traffic.
The age gap of those killed in car accidents continues to narrow. However, teens still remain the most at risk.