Collisions are the number one cause of permanent injury and accidental death for young adults between 15 and 24. In 2011 alone, traffic crashes accounted for 6,926 deaths. Many parents wonder if their teens' participation in driver's education classes can actually keep them safer when they get behind the wheel.
Driver's Education Increases Teen Driving Safety
Recent research by the American Automobile Association (AAA) has answered the question about whether driver's education classes help reduce the number of teen auto collisions. The motor club analyzed data and found that participation in driver's education classes lowered the number of teen driver crashes by 4.3 percent.
As part of the study, AAA examined over 90,000 driving records of Oregon teens and determined that those who'd taken driver's education had a greater understanding of driving laws and safety practices than those who hadn't taken classes. The increase in knowledge was only marginal, though.
Tips to Bolster Teen Driving Safety
Unfortunately, the AAA research shows that driver's ed provides only a modest decrease in teen collisions. As a parent, there are specific steps you can take to boost your teen's safety as he or she gains driving experience:
- Monitor your teen. Riding along gives you an opportunity to oversee and evaluate progress and improvements in judgment in different driving situations.
- Put limits on passengers. Establish firm limits for the ages and acceptable number of passengers who travel with your teen, especially during the first year.
- Set a curfew. New drivers shouldn't be on the road after dark. As your teen gains experience, set specific curfew limits and stick with them.
- Insist on seat belt use. Everyone in the vehicle needs to buckle up. Teens may balk at telling their friends to wear a seat belt, but this is vital, so don't budge.
- Eliminate cellphone distractions. Talking on a phone or texting while driving can be deadly. Insist that the phone stays off so your teen can focus on the road and other drivers.
If your teen has a fender bender and you need expert auto body repair, contact us at Gerber Collision & Glass.