A car is one of the best gifts you can give your teenager on their 16th birthday. It’s a rite of passage and opens up a new world of freedom for them. But, unfortunately, with this newfound freedom comes great responsibility, considering how dangerous it is to drive in New York. While many factors contribute to accidents, teenage drivers are especially at risk.
Endeavors worth doing require patience and practice, including driving. The more time spent on the road, the better a driver becomes. New drivers are at a higher risk for motor vehicle accidents simply because they don’t have the same level of experience as someone who’s been driving for years.
Texting while driving has become one of the most common – and dangerous – distractions for drivers of all ages. As a result of their constant attachment to their phones, teenagers are more at risk. A recent study by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Insurance found that most teenagers have a condition known as “Fear of Missing Out.” In essence, they feel pressure to respond to texts or see what’s happening online immediately after someone posts, even while driving.
Teens are also more likely to take risks behind the wheel, like speeding. Risks are more dangerous because they may not be as experienced in judging how fast they’re going and how much time they have to react to a situation. Some friends may also encourage them to drive faster, especially at night.
Driving under the influence
Of course, one of the most dangerous things a teenager can do is get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Not only is it illegal for anyone under 21 to drink, but alcohol and other drugs impair a person’s ability to drive. As a result, they slow down reaction time and blur vision, making concentrating more difficult.
Making good decisions when it comes to driving isn’t always easy, but it’s essential. As a parent, you must talk to your teenager about driving dangers before getting behind the wheel. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your child understands the seriousness of the responsibility they’re undertaking and that their safety – and the safety of others – is always paramount.