Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Common risky behaviors of teen drivers

It is fairly obvious that teen drivers do not have as much experience as those, say, 10 to 20 years older. Even if a teenager is responsible and mature, they simply do not have the same level of experience that is often needed to handle traffic emergencies and the like. Moreover, for a number of reasons, many teens do not always have the best judgment, and they are more prone to distractions.

Largely thanks to law changes, including the development of systems that require teens to take on driving privileges gradually, the number of teenage drivers that have been involved in deadly car accidents has declined. However, there were still over 3,200 drivers between 15 and 19 in 2017 who were involved in fatal accidents. Additionally, in the case of over 300,000 injury accidents, teen drivers were involved.

One of the riskiest behaviors that teenage drivers in Pennsylvania engage in is distracted driving. In addition to texting and driving and trying to use a cell phone while operating the vehicle, teens also engage in distracted driving when they do things like try to eat or turn up the radio. Even loud music or too many friends in the vehicle can be a source of distraction.

Likewise, teen drivers also have the bad habit of driving too fast. Sometimes, this is not just for thrills, but because the teen is late for school, work or some other important social obligation. Given the fact that many teenagers lead very busy lives, fatigued driving is also a common problem among people in this age group.

With National Teen Driver Safety Week falling near the end of October this year, now is a good time for Altoona parents to remind their teenagers about the importance of practicing safe driving habits. Likewise, parents need to be sure that they are setting a good example by driving safely themselves.

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