3569314 - teen driver inside car with keys smilesIt’s not just a myth that teen drivers are in danger when they start driving. Even passengers of teen drivers are at risk of being in involved in an accident. Safety is not necessarily in numbers when teens operate motor vehicles. The more kids that are in a car, the more distractions, which means the crash risk goes up significantly.

It’s an unfortunate fact that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people in their teenage years. It’s well documented that a lack of maturity and a higher likelihood for taking risks can make for a dangerous combination.

The good news is that parents and guardians can give teen drivers tools to better equip them on the road. Keep an open dialog with the teens in your life. Play out scenarios with them to learn what they would do in certain situations. Ride along with them and help them feel confident at making judgments when behind the wheel.

Empower your teenagers so they also feel confident in setting rules for passengers riding in their car. This can help them take control of the environment in their vehicle. Even the act of switching the radio or having the music too loud can really disrupt anyone’s concentration, let alone an inexperienced driver.

Studies have shown that teenagers do not feel phones are a distraction to them while driving. This means that they are more likely to use their devices while operating a vehicle. So prepare them to make judgement calls regarding these devices.

There is a wealth of information for you and your teen loved ones that can help educate and keep them safe. One excellent resource is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There’s an entire section devoted to teen drivers. Again, talk openly and often with your teenagers, even if they are just passengers with driving friends. Help them stay safe by preparing them for anything.