Crash risks are nearly double with one passenger and increase even more with each additional passenger. This is true for all teens, even those who are responsible and trustworthy.
The most severe teen crashes occur at night. Night driving is more dangerous because of limited visibility, fatigue, and drinking drivers on the road.
With a new license, young teens have night driving restrictions that vary by state. Many serious teen driver crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.
Bad weather makes driving more dangerous for all drivers. However, teen drivers do not have enough experience to react safely in bad weather.
High Speeds and High Speed Roads
As speed increases, vehicles respond more quickly to steering and more slowly to braking. Inexperienced drivers may make abrupt changes, which can make the vehicle go out of control. It takes time to learn how to handle a vehicle at high speeds. High-speed crashes have higher crash forces and are more likely to result in severe injuries.
Myths vs Facts
Responsible Teen Myth
My teen is responsible and would not drive dangerously, so is not at risk.
All teen drivers are at higher risk because they lack driving experience and judgment that only comes with time and driving.
Experienced Driver Myth
My teen had plenty of practice driving before they got their license so is not at risk.
Driver education and practice driving are only the beginning of learning to drive – becoming a safe driver, just like any skill takes time, practice and experience.
Driving with a Friend
It would be safer if my teen had a friend in the car, in case something happens.
Crash risks are nearly double with one passenger and increase even more with each additional passenger. Even “responsible” friends in the car can be distracting to a teen driver.
The licensing requirements and driving laws for teens (also known as Graduated Driver Licensing) is sufficient to protect teen drivers.
Graduated Driver Licensing is good, but is just a MINIMUM. Effective parent-imposed restrictions that go beyond the laws, increase teen safety.
Driving with Siblings
Sibling passengers are safer than other young passengers.
All young passengers are potentially distracting and at risk with a new driver – siblings are not safer.
By having a car, my teen will learn to take responsibility.
Teens with their own vehicles are at greater risk because they drive more and have fewer restrictions placed on them.
Other parents do not set limits on their teens’ driving.
Nearly all parents DO set limits, and teens appreciate knowing exactly what is expected of them. The stronger the limits, the better the safety outcomes.