In the UK, young drivers between the age of 17 and 24 are at a significantly higher risk of being in a car accident than older drivers. While drivers in this age group only account for 1.5% of licensed drivers in the UK, they are involved in 9% of fatal and serious accidents while driving. Apart from the dreadful emotional trauma inflicted by a motor vehicle accident, there are also the financial implications that arise, even if the accident is only perceived as minor. Medical bills, insurance claims and personal vehicle repairs are all costly yet unavoidable expenses that are commonplace after an incident.
There are countless distractions for young drivers and instilling good driving habits in them from the get-go can spare everyone a lot of anxiety and heartache later on. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your driving teenager is to lead by example. You may not realise it but children start observing how their parents drive from a very young age. If you have bad habits your children are very likely going to pick them up as well, increasing their risks on the road. Instead, make sure to show your child good habits while teaching them to drive.
Don’t give into peer pressure
Young drivers often drive with their friends as passengers. The more passengers you have the more distractions there are in the car and the more likely you are to have an accident. Young drivers need to steer clear of having large groups of friends in the car with them. It is also imperative to not give into the temptation to show off by driving too fast and taking unnecessary risks such as overtaking dangerously or even racing other motorists. It is important to remind young drivers that driving recklessly to impress their friends can prove to be fatal.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Alcohol gives you a false sense of confidence, slows down your reaction time, reduces your co-ordination and affects your judgement of distance, speed and risk. It is also important to remember that alcohol can stay in your system for up to 48 hours. As dangerous as alcohol is, so too is over-the-counter medicine and illegal drugs as both can severely hinder your ability to drive. If you are on medication make sure to read the package insert and avoid driving if you feel drowsy or suffer from impaired vision. Don’t compromise your safety on the road in any way as it can prove to be fatal.
Get more training
It is always a good idea for new drivers to get more training after passing their driver’s test. Learning advanced driving skills will provide a young driver with a newfound confidence and will enable him to make fast and accurate decisions should problems present themselves on the road.
While teenage drivers are known to be a higher risk on the road than their older counterparts one has to acknowledge that some young drivers are indeed very responsible drivers. It is also key to remember that with the right guidance a good teenage driver will become a great and responsible adult driver.