Obtaining a driver’s license may be a thrilling rite of passage for teenagers, but it may also make a parent anxious. Teenagers’ first few years of driving are particularly dangerous. According to the International Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers have a crash rate almost four times higher than other age groups. 

Teenage crash rates are high primarily due to immaturity and a lack of driving experience. Even the most skilled teen drivers lack the wisdom that comes with experience. 

It impacts how they perceive danger and how they react to it and leads to risky behaviors like speeding and tailgating. Teenagers also frequently engage in unsafe activities, including eating, talking on the phone, texting, talking to friends while driving, and not always wearing seatbelts.

 

Teen Driving Awareness Month

Teen Driving Awareness Month is a time to focus on the importance of safe driving practices for teenagers. It is typically held in January to raise awareness about teenage drivers’ risks and dangers on the road and provide resources and information to help teenagers become safe and responsible drivers.

During Teen Driving Awareness Month, various organizations, including schools, community groups, and government agencies, may hold events or campaigns to promote safe driving among teenagers. These may include educational presentations, mock crashes, driver safety courses, and other activities. The goal is to help teenagers understand the importance of following traffic laws, practicing good judgment while driving, and avoiding distractions while behind the wheel.

In addition to promoting safe driving practices, Teen Driving Awareness Month is a time to remind parents and other adults to set a good example for teenagers by following safe driving habits. This can include wearing a seatbelt, obeying traffic laws, and avoiding distractions while driving.

 

Teen Driving Statistics

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Some specific statistics on teenage driving only from 2019 include:

  • 2,679 teenagers (aged 16-19) died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
  • Teenagers accounted for 7% of all motor vehicle crash deaths, despite comprising only 6% of the U.S. population.
  • The motor vehicle death rate for male teenagers was nearly twice that of female teenagers.
  • The motor vehicle death rate for 16-17 year-olds was more than three times that of 18-19 year-olds.
  • Distractions, such as using a cell phone while driving, are significant in crashes involving teenage drivers.

These statistics highlight the importance of promoting safe driving practices among teenagers and the need for policies and programs to help reduce teenage drivers’ risks on the road.

 

Why Do Teen Driving Accidents Increase In Winters?

Winter weather can present additional risks and challenges for teenage drivers. Some of the specific driving safety risks that teenagers may face during the winter months include the following:

  1. Slippery roads: Snow and ice can make roads slippery, making it difficult to maintain control of the car.
  2. Reduced visibility: Snow, ice, and fog can reduce visibility, which makes it harder to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic signals.
  3. Cold weather: Extreme cold can affect a car’s performance by reducing tire pressure or causing the battery to die.
  4. Tire damage: Potholes and other road hazards can cause damage to a car’s tires, which can be especially dangerous in the winter when the roads are slippery.
  5. Inclement weather: Heavy rain, snow, or fog can make driving more difficult and increase the risk of accidents.

Winter Driving Safety Tips For Teens

Here are some winter driving safety tips for teenagers:

  1. Slow down: Snow and ice can make roads slippery and reduce visibility. It’s essential to reduce your speed and allow plenty of time to stop.
  2. Increase your following distance: It takes longer to stop on slippery roads, so give yourself more space between you and the car in front of you.
  3. Use your brakes carefully: Avoid slamming on the brakes or making sudden movements, as this can cause you to lose control of the car. Instead, pump your brakes gently to slow down gradually.
  4. Avoid distractions: Don’t text, eat, or do anything else that takes your attention away from the road.
  5. Know how to recover from a skid: If you start to skid, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If you have front-wheel drive, steer in the direction you want the car’s rear to go.
  6. Keep an emergency kit in your car: This should include items like a blanket, flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and a bag of sand or kitty litter to help traction if you get stuck.
  7. Check your car before you drive: Make sure your car is in good working order and that your tires have sufficient tread. Consider using winter tires designed to provide better traction in cold and snowy conditions.
  8. Use your headlights: Turn on your headlights when driving in snow or fog to improve your visibility and make it easier for other drivers to see you.

By following these tips, teenagers can help ensure they stay safe on the road during winter.

 

How A Personal Safety Panic Button Helps Teen Drivers

A panic button can be a helpful tool for teenage drivers in winter, as it can provide a way to call for help in an emergency quickly. A panic button allows the teenager to quickly call for help if the car breaks down or gets stuck in snow or ice, potentially saving them from being stranded in cold weather. You can also use a panic button if you feel unsafe while driving in winter weather, such as if you are being followed or encountering a dangerous situation on the road.

Silent Beacon’s panic button is a compact, Bluetooth-enabled personal safety device that enables your child to call for assistance in an emergency. The device connects to the free safe driving app to request emergency assistance and notify friends and family of the situation. Get your hands on Silent Beacon’s driving safety button and stay safe while driving this winter season. 

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