While it can be exciting to get a license for the first time, teen drivers are faced with a myriad of risks when on the road. Whether you have a teen driver in your family or are sharing the road with younger motorists, it’s important to be aware of just how inexperience can cause accidents and lead to careless behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain how teens can stay safe behind the wheel and what might happen if they don’t. 

Approximately 292,742 drivers aged 16 through 19 required emergency care as the result of a motor vehicle accident in 2016. Up to 2,433 in the same age group were killed as a result of their accidents. Male drivers in this age range face a two times greater risk of dying when compared to females, and teens of both genders are likely to experience a crash within the first few months after receiving their license. 

Teens are also less likely to take proper safety measures when driving. When compared to other groups, teen drivers are far less likely to use their seatbelts. A 2017 survey showed only 59% of high school students always used their seatbelts when riding as a passenger in another vehicle. They are also more likely to speed and partake in dangerous behaviors like driving while inebriated, especially when it comes to male drivers. A 2016 survey showed that in crash fatalities involving male drivers aged 15 through 20, 32% were found to be speeding, while 21% were drinking before their accident occurred. 

If you live with a teen driver, you should talk with him or her about the importance of safety when driving. Discuss the primary risks facing teens, which includes things like not using a seatbelt, inexperience, driving recklessly, being distracted behind the wheel, and driving while impaired. Along with the potential for bodily harm, also make your young driver aware of the possible consequences of traffic violations. A DUI can result in massive fines and a suspended license, and many states have also implemented fines for texting and driving. Some states are also considering a graduated licensing system, which puts greater limitations on new drivers until they’ve proven they’re capable of driving in many different situations.