Parents don't know how unsafe their teen drivers are, study finds

Kara Marxer
October 23, 2018 - 5:19 am

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A new survey out on National Teen Driver Safety Week finds that parents wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to the way they view their kids' driving habits.

Traffic accidents are the leading killer of people between the ages of 15 and 19. Allstate Insurance recently talked to parents about their young drivers' habits, and found that two thirds of parents think their kids are safe drivers, and three out of four believe their kids rarely engage in unsafe behavior.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration however found out that about a third of teens admit to texting while driving and in a third of deadly crashes, the young drivers were speeding.

The younger drivers are, the worse their driving habits are. Crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure. The fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly twice as high for 16-17 year olds compared with 18-19 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations, the CDC said.

There is some good news, teen fatalities are lower today than they were before. There were more than 8,200 fatal crashes involving teenagers in 2005. The annual number is now less than 5,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Safety experts say its important for parents to talk to their kids about good driving habits, and to set good examples.

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