Risk factors for teenage drivers

Geico has issued a guide to parents of novice drivers on what factors most influence the chances of teenagers being involved in serious collisions.

US insurance company, Geico, has issued advice to the parents of teenage drivers to enable them to encourage safer driving habits amongst this vulnerable age group. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), after a lull in teenage licence applications, there are more young people now applying for a licence to drive.

According to Geico, the most sifnificant factors that parents should be aware of are as follow:

Time of day – According to IIHS, the most dangerous time of the day for young drivers is between 6pm and midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These are the times when most fatalities amongst teenagers occur on US roads. Some states have introduced Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) programmes which impose curfews requiring teenage drivers to gain more experience before they do much night time driving.

Passengers – According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), carrying additional teenage passengers increases the risk of an accident significantly through distractions and the encouragement of risky behaviour. GDL schemes also take account of this and parents are encouraged to consider passenger carrying carefully when their children take to the roads.

Type of road – Rural roads are more dangerous than urban streets or motorways. Narrow roads, difficult curves and poor lighting can all cause difficulties for novice drivers.

Time of year – Teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and fatal crashes in June, July and August when the weather is warmer, more distance is driven and people have a more carefree attitude.

Geico also points out that speeding, driver error, failure to use seat belts and drink driving are all contributory factors in many serious collisions which involve teenage drivers. The company is therefore encouraging parents to set good examples by avoiding such potentially fatal errors and behaviours themselves.

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Human Factors

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