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Reducing crash risks for teen drivers and their passengers

Teen drivers in Illinois face a higher risk of crashing than other, more experienced drivers. Many young drivers may not recognize the detrimental consequences that reckless or distracted driving can create.

Educators, parents and community members can work together to encourage responsible driving from teenagers. Parents who implement a driving contract and enforce consequences for violations may more effectively monitor their children’s driving behaviors. Limiting the number of passengers allowed is one way for parents to reduce crash risks.

Being the driver

By law, teen drivers must meet specific requirements prior to having the legal right to drive other passengers in their vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risks of distraction increase notably with the addition of each teen passenger.

Parents can lay ground rules with their teens about their expectations for passengers. They can tell their teens to require everyone to wear their seatbelts. Parents can also talk to their teens about the importance of asking their passengers to quiet down or calm down if backseat behavior becomes a distraction.

Being the passenger

Teens should also understand the importance of being responsible passengers. State Farm Insurance suggests teen passengers use mindfulness when talking. Voices should remain low and passengers should offer to help read directions if the driver needs assistance. Music selections should not interfere with the driver’s ability to concentrate on driving tasks.

When teenagers understand the importance of both driving responsibly and behaving appropriately s a passenger, they may lessen the risks of crashing. For teenagers injured in an automobile accident, legal help may provide some relief for the physical and emotional consequences of their situation.

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