Teenage Driving

Driving a vehicle on the roadways can be very dangerous for the driver, passengers and other people in other vehicles if one of the driver is not driving in a careful manner. Auto accidents can occur is the drivers are not driving carefully. With the development and widespread usage of smart phone and cellphones, drivers have yet another distraction when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Any driver that uses their phone illegally while driving is putting themselves, all their passengers and all other people on the road at risk for harm.

Teenage drivers are much more likely to be an in auto accident than almost any other driver according to age group. They are responsible for 12% of all fatal auto accidents. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teens. Most auto accidents caused by teen drivers occur between 3 pm and midnight and over half take place on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Due to their inexperience behind the wheel, they are less likely to accurately judge dangerous situations. They will often underestimate the danger they are in or the danger they are presenting to other drivers. Teen drivers are more likely to display negligent behavior such as speeding, tailgating, and ignoring road signs. Many teen drivers and passengers do not wear seatbelts, increasing their chance of serious injury or fatality if they are in an accident. Teen drivers with teen passengers are more likely to crash, especially teen male drivers with male passengers. They are also more likely to be distracted, using cell phones or conversing with their passengers. Texting, emailing, using social media sites while driving are all extremely dangerous to do while behind the wheel. Parents should lead by example and put their phone in another part of the car so there is no temptation to use the phone while driving. An inexperienced driver combined with one of many possible distractions while driving could lead to a serious accident that could injure someone that you love.

It is important to teach safety to teenage drivers. Make sure they get plenty of practice behind the wheel before they get their license. Parents may want to set up rules for teenage drivers, limiting the amount of passengers they can have, or set up time limits. The amount of passengers in a car can be distracting for adults and even more so for a new driver. Although our society has created a need for transportation, a teenage driver should not be given the opportunity to drive unless they have demonstrated the ability to drive safely on the roads and are willing to obey the law.

In Maryland new drivers must have their learner's permit for a period of 6 months. They must have at least 60 hours of training behind the wheel, and 10 of those hours must be at night. Once a driver has a provisional license they are not allowed to have passengers under the age of 18, other than family members, for the first 5 months. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use cell phones while driving.

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