When teenagers finally get their driver’s license, it’s cause for celebration. However, for concerned parents, it’s a cause for worry. Even if they’ve gone through a certified Driver’s Ed program, new teen drivers are just that – NEW and inexperienced drivers. Yes, kids think they are invincible, but they’re not. In fact, the #1 cause of death for teenagers age 15-20 is car crashes.

Below are the top 5 teen driver dangers.

Extra passengers - Teen drivers with peer passengers are at a higher risk of crashing. In fact, 16-17-year-old drivers are almost eight times more likely to get into a fatal accident when they are carrying two or more teen passengers.

Speeding - Speeding is one of the major factors in fatal crashes involving young people. New drivers are more likely to speed at night and when other passengers are present in the car. If your own child is a speedster, be sure to set rules and consequences for getting a speeding ticket.

Texting and distracted driving - Driving while distracted puts your teen’s life at serious risk. As many as 71% of teens admit they have composed and sent text messages while driving. Plus, 78% say they’ve read one. Anything that takes your teen’s eyes off the road is dangerous.

Stress and fatigue - Teens today are busier than ever. When inexperienced, fatigued new drivers get behind the wheel, they may forget their newly acquired good driving habits.

Driver inexperience - New teen drivers often make critical errors that lead to crashes. Inexperience may be the reason for a lapse in judgment. Learning to drive doesn’t happen in just a few months. In fact, it takes a full five years to become an experienced driver.

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