One of the most frightening days for a parent is the day your child gets their license. No matter if they are driving the safest model of car available, or weaving in and out of traffic on a motorcycle, it is natural to worry about their safety. Although the facts can be frightening, there are programs that have been put into place to help teen drivers remain safe on the roads. Take a look at the statistics behind teen driving, and what can be done to prevent dangerous accidents.
The latest statistics that have been published on teen drivers in Utah comes from the Utah Safety Council. In 2012 drivers between 15 and 24 years old accounted for just over forty percent of all crashes, and twenty-nine percent of fatal crashes. These numbers are lower than many other states, but could be even lower.
During 2012 20,507 vehicle crashes were reported with drivers within this age range. Out of this number, 66 resulted in death. This may seem like a low number compared to the crash rate, but it is still higher than it should be, especially considering there are enough crashes a year involving teen drivers to account for a crash in Utah every 25 minutes.
We know there are things that need to be improved when it comes to teen and young drivers, but what are they exactly? The most common factors that contribute to accidents, both mild and fatal, in order of severity are:
- Following other drivers too closely
- Failing to stay in the correct lane
- Failing to yield to right of way
- Driving under the influence
All these factors can be avoided by teaching teens and young adults about the dangers that come. Take distractions out of your child’s car, encouraging them to keep their cellphone in the glove box or in a purse while on the road. Getting rid of these, and teaching proper driving habits will reduce the accidents on the road.
Alive at 25 was a program that was first put into place in Colorado in 1999. It worked to reduce accidents in young drivers, and teach them better habits on the road. In 2007, the same program was brought to Utah, with students taking the course. Almost everyone who took part in the course said that it would make them a better driver, and they would recommend it to others. These types of programs need to be taken and expanded on to increase driver safety.
Young drivers account for a large amount of accidents on the road, but this doesn’t have to be the case. By learning the most common problems, and avoiding them, the roads will be safer for everyone in Utah. Lowering the accidents on the road is something we can all work together towards.