Teen and Senior Driving
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens ages 16-19. In fact, six teens are killed each day in crashes that are entirely preventable. Per miles driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely to be killed in a crash than drivers aged 20 and older. Even the best and brightest teens have an increased risk of being involved in a deadly crash.
Simply put, teens lack the experience, skills and maturity of a seasoned driver, which contribute to an increase in the chance that there will be a deadly outcome—not just for the teen driver but also for any passenger, as well as others on the road. So, we all have a vested interest in ensuring the teens in our lives are safe when behind the wheel.
Understanding the risks and knowing the facts will prepare both you and your teen for the road ahead.
Driving with passengers
Teen drivers’ crash risks multiply when they have teen passengers. Set limits and enforce them.
Driving at night
Night driving is more dangerous because of limited visibility, fatigue and impaired drivers on the road. This is an especially risky time for teens. Limit the time your novice driver spends behind the wheel at night.
Not wearing a seat belt
Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Make a rule: Everyone buckles up for every trip.
Speed is a leading factor in crashes for teens and adults. Teens need to follow the posted speed limit, and parents should set a good example.
We know that teen passengers are the biggest distraction to teen drivers, but cellphones come in second. Many teens admit to interacting with their phone and in-car infotainment systems while behind the wheel, despite clear dangers. Make a family rule that everyone abides by that covers these and other distractions.
Teens have a hard time getting enough sleep and often struggle with drowsiness. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and teens have the highest risk. Ensure everyone who is behind the wheel has gotten enough sleep.
Driving impaired from alcohol and other drugs puts everyone at risk. Enforce strict no-tolerance rules with your teen, and be a good role model.
Senior Driver Safety and Mobility
Older Americans today are healthier and more active than ever before. The aging baby boomer generation is the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. By 2030, there will be more than 70 million people ages 65 and older, and approximately 85-90 percent of them will be licensed to drive. In fact, seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of 7-10 years, and for the first time in history, we must plan for our “driving retirement” just as we plan for our financial retirement.
Senior drivers are among the safest drivers on the road and often reduce their risk of injury by wearing safety belts, not drinking and driving and by observing speed limits. However, seniors are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash due to age-related fragility. With the exception of teenagers, seniors have the highest crash death rate per mile driven. As we age, our ability to drive safely is affected by natural changes to our bodies over time.
AAA is dedicated to keeping seniors driving for as long as safely possible. We are also committed to promoting viable transportation options for seniors who can no longer drive independently.
Learn more at AAA.com/DrivingSchool or call 952-927-2602.