Teen Driving Risk
Research shows teens exit the learner’s permit period of driving with significant skill deficits, due to lack of expert training, leading to a much higher risk of crashing compared to those who have trained extensively well. Understanding teen driving risks can help families navigate the learning-to-drive process and beyond.
At Freedom Drivers Ed, we are an expert partner in training new drivers with a known skill set that can save their life. Our curriculum focuses on elevating mental and motor skills, but also aims to impact driving attitudes, as the majority of crashes stem from a lack in mental skills and poor driving attitudes.
However, we are just one piece of the puzzle. We are the educators, parents are the consistent enforcers. Parents play a very important and pivotal role in influencing their teen towards safer driving habits.
Parents can help manage teen driving risks by partnering with us as their Top Rated, Most Qualified driving school and by enforcing graduated drivers licensing laws (GDL laws) and other traffic safety laws. Parents can also influence teen driving risks by staying involved and modeling safe driving behaviors.
Watch this video to improve communication with your teen, as proper communication creates a strong bond and bridge to the ultimate goal - keeping your teen or young adult safe behind the wheel.
The overwhelming majority (75%) of serious teen driver crashes are due to "critical errors," with the three common errors accounting for nearly half of these crashes: lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards, going too fast for road conditions, and being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle
Lack of Scanning: Does your teen know the exact scanning places, distances and responses at each type of maneuver and intersection or driving scene? The concept of what to search for, when to search for it and where to search for it is a large concept taught throughout our courses - permit and behind the wheel. When a student trains their brain on proper scanning methods they increase perception time and thus increase time to react. Time is one major factor that will make the difference between a crash and no crash. We do not teach students to look everywhere all the time - we teach them precise and accurate scanning patterns that literally re-train their brain for proper risk assessment and response.
Speeding: Does your teen know exactly how speed affects force of impact and that braking distance is equally proportional to kinetic energy (KE = 1/2MV^2). We don't simply tell them "Speed Kills", we explain and show them exactly why and how speed kills. This information and knowledge influences someone to think twice about speeding. Does your teen know exactly how traction is affected by weight shift of the vehicle and how decisions, such as quick acceleration, harsh braking, quick steering, cause dramatic weight shift, which causes decrease in traction and loss of control? Can your teen name the three axes each vehicle operates on and explain exactly how center of gravity is determined and vehicle balance is maintained? This knowledge, and so much more is how we help students decide to not speed.
Distractions: Does your teen know that the average time spent looking at a phone while driving is 4.5 seconds and that at a speed of 55mph, driving distracted is like closing your eyes and driving the length of a football field blind? Does your teen understand that their perception of risk influences their decision making process? Does your teen understand the fundamental development of their brain and how this impacts their decisions while driving? Does your teen have exposure to statistics and third party testimonies of teens, young adults, parents and society who have been drastically affected by the results of someone else choosing to drive distracted? Does your teen understand why passengers significantly increase their risk crashing due to peer influence and pressure? Does your teen have real - world, practical ways to prevent, reduce, mitigate and react to the different driver conditions (alcohol or drugs, fatigue, peer pressure, road rage and emotions, distractions) they will encounter?
Gosh, we could go on for days with ways our curriculum is equipping students with mental, motor and attitude skill sets that SAVE LIVES! But to be honest, none of it matters if parents do not value our work or the training we offer. We know this is hard to swallow, but current teen crash statistics (6 people every day are killed - gone - due to a teen driver's decisions) are a direct result of parents not realizing the immense risk teen driving poses AND realizing the immense power and influence they have to help their teen become the most safe driver for life. Unfortunately, so many parents have become complacent. This statistic can change, we can all do better - we owe it to our children and the next generation!
Parents need us for expert education and training and we need parents for consistent reinforcement and influence over their teen. To check out who we are, what we offer and our training programs, please visit freedomdriversedcolorado.com
More Teen Driving Stats
Most teen crashes are not caused by aggressive driving or thrill-seeking. Instead, they are more often caused by errors associated with inexperience.
Quality supervised driving practice matters. A randomized, controlled trial found that teens who received training from a quality program were over 75% less likely to make driver errors and poor decisions. - if you're curious on what makes our programs quality compared to other driving schools, check out our article of 5 questions to ask when comparing driving schools.