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Is your teen more likely to be involved in a car accident?

You want your teenage driver to be safe and responsible when on the road. However, statistics show that teen drivers in Georgia and all over the U.S have a higher likelihood of being involved in a serious crash, with sometimes deadly consequences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen drivers aged 16-19 face the greatest risk when behind the wheel. In 2013 over 240,000 teens required emergency medical treatment due to car accidents, and of this number, 2,163 teens ultimately succumbed to their injuries. Male teen drivers seem to face the highest risk, with a death rate almost twice that of female drivers in the same age range. Additionally, teens are most likely to be involved in a crash during the first few months of receiving their licenses.

Lack of wisdom may play a role in this increased crash risk, along with a few other factors. Many accidents involving teens are linked to an inability to adequately assess a dangerous situation and act accordingly (a skill that is typically developed over years of driving experience). Dangerous behaviors can also lead to substantial injury, particularly when it comes to speeding and driving while under the influence. Failure to wear a seatbelt is yet another contributing factor to the teen crash rate, and statistics from 2013 show that only 55 percent of high school-aged teens make it a point to wear their seatbelts every time they are in a vehicle. 

Fortunately, there are certain steps your teen driver can take to prevent serious accidents from occurring. First and foremost, you should emphasize that dangerous driving behaviors must be curbed in order to reduce your teen’s crash risk. Additionally, your teen should make sure that a seatbelt is worn on every car trip, and this includes his or her passengers. Seeking out a graduated licensing driving program in your area is also highly recommended, as these programs have been shown to reduce fatality rates among teen drivers from 38 to 40 percent in some instances.

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