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What parents should know about their teenage drivers

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2023 | Injuries

Teenage drivers are well known for the risks they take while operating motor vehicles. Many presume that behind-the-wheel behavior is a part of their immaturity and inexperience. Recent statistics reveal a more dire picture when young people are behind the wheel.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) encourages parents that they should take notice of the severe risks when teenagers take to the road. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of fatalities involving teenagers. Even more alarming is the number of death for 16 to 17-year-olds tripling drivers 20 and older.

Potential solutions

Various stopgap measures can be effective. Strengthening license requirements that would bar carpools of teens packed in a vehicle while traveling at breakneck speeds. The choice of vehicle is also essential. Giving the keys to teens traveling in cars with significant horsepower while lacking crash protections, particularly in older and smaller vehicles, can be a recipe for disaster.

Larger and heavier passenger vehicles present dangers. The current average curb weight of vehicles is at 3,565 pounds in 2000. Today’s average is fast approaching 4,000. Even electric cars carry more weight due to their batteries.

A collision with a pedestrian could result in life-changing consequences for the driver and life-ending injuries for the victim, particularly when considering the current shape of the transports. Usually, accidents involving SUVs, pickups, and vans/minivans are severe and mainly occur during turns when visibility is impaired.

IIHS recommends new and previously owned vehicles less than 2,750 pounds, much smaller than pickups and large SUVs. They are also for cost-efficient. Significant smaller cars are not a good option, according to the IIHS, particularly when the car is older and lacks safety features and structures enjoyed by more modern-day automobiles.




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