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Teen drivers and car accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Car Accidents

Teen drivers face unique challenges and risks on the road. These challenges can be particularly daunting for parents who want to ensure their teen’s safety behind the wheel.

Recent changes to driving laws in Wisconsin underscore the importance of addressing these risks and promoting safe driving practices among teens.

Change in the permit law

The state has had a waiver system in effect since 2020 that allowed new drivers to avoid having to take a road test to get a probationary license. However, effective January 1, 2024, new drivers under the age of 18 must pass a road test to obtain a probationary license. This change aims to improve the readiness of teen drivers and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Statistics about teen drivers

One of the main reasons for the reimplementation of road testing for new drivers is because of the alarming statistics surrounding teen driving accidents.

In 2020, approximately 2,800 people aged 13 to 19 died in auto accidents in the United States. Teen drivers aged 16 to 19 were more likely to have car accidents than any other age group.

Wisconsin, specifically, saw a troubling trend in 2022, with one teen dying every 3.7 hours from auto accidents. Additionally, in 2022, 10% of all drivers involved in crashes in the state were between the ages of 16 and 19.

Risk factors and parental oversight

Several factors contribute to the heightened risk for teen drivers. Inexperience tops the list, as new drivers may not have the skills to navigate challenging driving situations. Distracted driving, such as texting or using a phone while driving, also plays a significant role. Speeding, using drugs or substances and failing to use seat belts are other common factors.

Parents play a crucial role in promoting safe driving habits among teens. Parents should educate their young drivers about the leading causes of teen crashes and injuries. This includes emphasizing the importance of being attentive behind the wheel and taking driving as a serious responsibility.

Teen drivers should only hit the road when they have proper preparation and knowledge. Parents and teens must work together to promote safe driving habits and reduce the risk of accidents.