Statistics show that teen crashes are most likely to occur in the first six months after teens receiving their license. That's why it's smart to increase driving privileges gradually.
Set clear house rules for teen driving without adult supervision. Discuss how your teen can demonstrate experience and maturity to earn new privileges. Let him or her know the consequences of not following the rules.
Facts About Teen Fatalities
- Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in the U.S.
- In the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over.
- The teen crash fatality rate (per 100,000 population) is highest for 16 and 17- year-olds within the first six months after getting their license - and remains high through age 24.
- Distraction was a key factor in 58 percent of crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 19.
Set Permanent Driving Safety Rules
- Use seat belts on every trip, both driver and passengers.
- Don't use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. Set the example: Complete calls before the car is in gear, get directions in advance, check in only after arrival, and safely pull over for urgent calls.
- Stay within the posted speed limits and don’t speed.
- Never drive while impaired (drugged, drowsy, or drunk) or ride as a passenger with an impaired driver. Help offer your teen other ways to get home.
- Don't ride with an unlicensed or inexperienced teen driver.
Make Limits for Driving Privileges
No Peer Passengers
- Start: Adult passengers only.
- Include siblings as passengers after the first six months of driving, with proper restraints.
No Nighttime Driving
- Start: Only in daylight.
- Gradually increase driving curfew after practicing driving at night with your teen, obeying your state's time requirement.
No Teenage Speeding
- Start: Low-volume, low-speed, familiar roads only.
- Gradually add more difficult roads after practicing together.
No Driving in Bad Weather
- Start: Fair-weather driving conditions only
- Gradually allow driving in more difficult conditions, such as light rain or snow, after practicing with your teen.
Control the Keys
- Start: Teen needs to ask for the keys (even for own vehicle).
- Gradually increase amount teen can drive after first six months of driving responsibly.
- Pay attention, keep the lines of communication open, and know where they're going and why.
- It's about safety, not control. Make sure your teens understand that these rules come from love and because you want to keep them safe.
- Lead by example. Always wear a seat belt. Don't use a cell phone while driving. Don't speed. Don't drive while impaired. Follow the rules of the road.
For more information about teen driver safety and tools for new drivers, visit the State Farm® Teaching Teens to Drive website.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.