Inexperience is the Leading Cause of Teen Crashes

Lacking practice, new teen drivers make common errors

The safest—and best—way for them to gain experience is for you to ride with them frequently and monitor their progress. Just 30 minutes a week with you as a passenger in the car can make a big difference.

As our teens learn to drive, many states require a minimum number of practice hours before they get their license. Whether required by state law or not, the safest way for your teen to build driving experience and skills is for you to ride with them as they practice for a full year after they get their license. The Digital Driving Coach has lots of tips and practice guides for you and your teen.

Remember, it’s not whether our teens are “good kids” or “responsible” behind the wheel. They are new drivers—what matters most is their lack of experience and regardless of behavior, all teens are inexperienced and subject to the same risks.

In April 2011, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute identified the most common errors that lead to crashes involving teen drivers. Three out of four serious teen driver crashes are due to inexperience. The three most common errors, accounting for about half of these crashes, are:

  1. Lack of scanning the roadway
  2. Driving too fast for conditions
  3. Distraction by something inside or outside the vehicle

Make sure your teen has lots of practice behind the wheel – the more practice, the better. Start off driving during the daytime, then gradually add practice at night and bad weather. For some helpful tips, you can check out  The Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving.

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