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Teen Drivers -- Parents Are The Key
Teen drivers typically do not understand how complicated the driving task is. They are overconfident in their skills and abilities and underestimate the dangers they face when they are behind the wheel of a moving car. They do not understand the forces that are at work on a moving vehicle (such as inertia, momentum, kinetic energy, traction) and are unaware of how quickly a car can go out of control. They are still learning how to make mature decisions and are easily distracted. They are susceptible to peer pressure and are liable to engage in risky behaviors such as unsafe passing and speed contests (drag racing). For these reasons and more, parents of teen drivers must not assume that their young drivers are behaving properly behind the wheel. Parents should monitor their young driver’s performance in the car for at least one year or at least until the young driver gets a senior license. New York State has a GDL (Graduated Driver License Law) which places certain restrictions on young drivers for their own safety. Parents of young, beginning drivers are responsible for ensuring that their teen drivers follow the provisions of the GDL. At any rate you should be riding occasionally with your young licensed driver so that you can ensure proper behavior and catch any problem behaviors before they become ingrained.
If you are the parent of a teen driver, here are some web sites (and some short quotations from them) that you may find useful.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.
Since car crashes are a leading cause of death among teens in the US, this is what parents need to know about your teen drivers. The most dangerous time of a teen driver's life is the first 12 months after receiving a license, as teen driver crashes are largely caused by driver inexperience. Inexperienced drivers can also be easily distracted, by passengers and by cell phone use. New York's graduated licensing law addresses some areas to improve teen driver safety, but parents need to do their part. Parents are a big influence on teen drivers, so be sure you are being a positive influence.
There is no substitute for a parent's guidance as teens learn to drive.
No cell phones while driving
No extra passengers
No driving or riding without a seat belt