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Most common causes of accidents by teenage drivers

As a parent, you are probably both proud and nervous that your teenager finally has a driver's license. It is nice not to have to play chauffeur anymore but also worrisome to think of your kid behind the wheel, making important decisions that affect personal safety and the safety of others.

This feeling is grounded in reality, as your child is very susceptible to making mistakes that can lead to an accident, a traffic citation or even criminal charges. Know the risk factors so you can help your teen become a better driver.

Danger zones

The CDC has compiled a list of eight danger zones for young drivers:

  1. Insufficient experience: The first year for new drivers is the riskiest, so reduce the danger by ensuring your teen has had plenty of supervised practice driving under various conditions.
  2. Peers in the car: Teens often drive their friends around, which makes an accident likelier due to distraction and peer pressure. For the first six months, do not let your teen have any teen passengers, or only one if necessary.
  3. Nighttime: Darkness makes driving more challenging and hazardous, especially for an inexperienced driver. Set a driving curfew until your teen gains more driving skills.
  4. Lack of seat belt use: It is a fact that seat belts save lives. Make sure your teen understands how important it is always to put on a seat belt.
  5. Distractions: Texting while driving is a major problem. Other distractions include eating, changing the music and playing with controls. Teach your teen to have the car ready before leaving and pull to the side of the road to read and answer texts.
  6. Fatigue: If your teen must drive really early or late in the day, make sure he or she gets enough rest to prevent drowsy driving.
  7. Reckless behaviors: Teens' brains are still developing judgment skills. Combined with inexperience and peer pressure, teens may speed, disregard traffic signals and signs or overestimate their abilities.
  8. Intoxication: Not only is driving while drunk illegal, but also while high on drugs or impaired from prescription medicine.

Also, remember to teach your teen what to do in an accident to improve the outcome.

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