The No. 1 cause of death among teenagers isn’t drugs or alcohol; it’s car crashes. In fact,
the fatality rate for teenage drivers is nearly four times higher than for drivers past
their teenage years. Here are some tips on how to help teenagers improve their driving
Experts say begin by making the car safe. Make sure your teen’s vehicle has airbags
and anti-lock brakes. Newer ones are usually safer because they have more safety features,
including the latest in crash-protection technology. Another good idea to help reduce
potential distractions is by limiting the number of passengers allowed in the car with your
teen, as well as the hours during which they are allowed to drive.
Data from the National
Highway Traffic and Safety Administration shows that 63 percent of teen deaths occur when
there are multiple teens in the same vehicle, and more than half of teen crashes happen at
night. Also, make sure your teens have the proper equipment in their vehicle before getting
on the road. Include a cell phone with emergency road service numbers, plus emergency
supplies such as a spare tire, lug wrench and flashlight.
And the No. 1 safety measure is
seatbelts, which reduce their risk of injury or even death by nearly 50 percent.