Teen drivers need to be reminded of good habits, says Safe Kids Kansas

Having a teen driver will make any parent concerned, but it’s something you and the young driver both need to prepare for.

“The scary statistic is that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 18 in the United States,” said Cherie Sage with Safe Kids Kansas. “That’s ahead of all other types of injury, disease and violence. That is something to take very seriously. Teenagers…you always think it’s because of their brain development. There’s some truth to that, but truly it’s their lack of experience.”

This isn’t a one-time talk, either.

Don’t be afraid to have this conversation every day,” said Sage. “Drive that in. We know from surveys that we’ve done with teenagers that those teens whose parents set firm rules for driving, typically engage in less risky driving behaviors and are involved in fewer crashes. It really does make a difference.”

Piling a group of friends in the car isn’t the best idea for a teen driver, either.

“Our research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up dramatically in relation to the number of passengers in the car,” said Sage. “With each passenger, it’s a greater likelihood that they are going to both be distracted and engage in risky behaviors.”

That’s why the graduated driver’s licensing system in Kansas regulates the number of non-sibling passengers in a vehicle.