Whether from inexperience or distracted driving, approximately 20% of sixteen-year-old drivers will be in a car accident in their first year of driving. Sadly, an average of over 3,000 teenagers, ages 15-20, are killed annually in car accidents and almost 200,000 are injured. National Teen Driver Safety Week, which falls in the third week of October, was established to raise awareness as well as educate teens and parents about the risks and preventative measures. Our Southside Wrecker team is incredibly passionate about protecting young drivers as we witness firsthand the impact of accidents daily. We have compiled a list of proactive steps that you can take to help your teens stay safer on the road.

  •       Set a good example—Teenagers are paying more attention to our actions as parents than we may realize. If you are driving distracted, such as using your phone, putting on makeup, eating a meal, etc., your teen will assume this is a safe driving practice. Although parents often argue that they can do these things since they are experienced drivers, this may not actually be true, and your teen will likely not consider the difference in experience anyways. Show your teen how to be a responsible and alert driver by being a good example.
  •       Let their friends drive themselves—In Georgia, teenagers, ages 16-18, are not permitted to drive non-family passengers for the first six months and only one non-family member for the second six months of driving. Statistically, teenagers are eight times more likely to get in a fatal accident when driving with two or more teenage peers. We recommend limiting passengers, including family, whenever possible to minimize distractions.
  •       Give your teen plenty of chances to practice—Unfortunately, many parents forego completing necessary practice hours or do the bare minimum. Practice is important for perfecting any new skill, so make sure to give your teen plenty of practice with you alongside.
  •       Continue riding along—Parents are often delighted to be done chauffeuring their teens and hand over the keys without looking back. After your teen has earned their license, they will still be learning and gaining experience. Ride along to make sure that they are still following safe driving principles. We would recommend riding along in challenging driving situations, such as driving during heavy traffic or in the city. Riding along for a local grocery pickup may not provide many opportunities to see how your teen performs under pressure.
  •       Remind them to limit distractions—Phones are involved in many teen accidents. Make sure that your teen understands the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. If they are going to use a phone at all, make sure that they have a hands free option. Distracted driving can also happen when they are driving when they are too tired. Encourage your teen to not drive when they are feeling too drowsy. Pulling over and calling you for a ride is a far better option than having to call our wrecker service for them. Eating and drinking while driving should also be discouraged as your teen will be more likely to have their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel.

Start having conversations with your teen today about how they can be a safer driver. If an accident happens, our team at Southside Wrecker is standing by to help.