Inexperience is your teen driver’s worst enemy

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Oct 22 2013 / By DriveitHOME

Inexperience is your teen driver’s worst enemy

In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week, we’re breaking down the top 10 things many parents don’t know about teen driving. Read the first three facts here.

4. Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not because they necessarily take more risks

Yes, teen drivers speed. But drivers of all ages and experience levels are guilty of breaking speed limits or driving too fast for conditions. Yes, teen drivers use cell phones more than drivers of any other age group. But think about it: teens have been crashing for years – long before cell phones.

Experience helps drivers understand how to recognize and react to hazards, drive in inclement weather, drive at night and properly gauge gaps in traffic. Teens do not have enough behind-the-wheel experience to do any of those things with ease. These are skills teens can only develop with practice, and they are the skills parents need to practice most often with their teens. After all, few – if any – teens ever have died trying to parallel park.

Want to learn how to coach your teen driver? Register to receive coaching tips and driving lessons at driveithome.org.

5. Teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers

Car pools may seem like a good idea – and convenient – until parents examine the statistics. A single teen passenger increases a teen driver’s crash risk by 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk. Siblings aren’t an exception, either.

Peer passengers are risky even when they are on their best behavior. One simulator study showed just knowing they are being watched by their peers leads teen drivers to take more risks.

Want to know more about teen passengers? Visit driveithome.org.

Coming Wednesday: Why driving after dark is risky for teens

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