According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), 168 motor vehicle accidents occurred in Aberdeen in 2019. And more than 18% percent of crashes involved teenage drivers. Teens have a high risk of fatal crashes because they lack the adults’ experience, maturity, and skills. You have been taking care of your child all of your life, and you can keep protecting them by informing them about the dangerous driving habits that could put their lives in danger.
Driving under the influence
It is illegal for teens to drink alcohol before turning 21 years old. However, you must let your teen know that driving under the influence of a substance is unacceptable and dangerous for everyone, no matter how old they are. Drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs is hazardous, and the National Traffic Safety Administration states that one person dies every 52 minutes for doing this. Your teen must know this to think twice before drinking whenever they take the car.
Distracted driving was the second cause of all crashes in 2020 in Aberdeen. Distracted driving involves all actions that shift the driver’s attention off the road ahead, such as fidgeting with the radio, focusing on an object or person on the outside, and, worst of all, using the phone while driving. Teens are on their phones at all times, and they must understand that they must leave their phones untouched when driving. Not only is texting and driving life-threatening, but it is also illegal in South Dakota. The fine for using the phone while driving is $175 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense.
Night driving and extra passengers
In South Dakota, teens in the intermediate learning stage cannot drive with any extra passengers (except for household members) for the first six months. Afterward, they can only drive with one additional passenger until they turn 16 and get their standard driver’s license. This is because teens can get easily distracted if they have extra passengers in the car. Their friends could make them lose focus by talking to them or being loud inside the car. Also, teens in the intermediate learning stage cannot drive from 10 pm to 6 am unless they go to school, work, or church. The road is not clear at night, and inexperienced teen drivers can get in an accident if they drive at late hours.
Teens see driving as a step towards freedom, and they might want to experiment with the car once they get behind the wheel. Usually, speeding is the first thing they want to discover. Your teen might drive above the speed limits if you don’t warn them about the consequences of doing so. Explain to them that speeding can cause them to lose control of the vehicle, increase the severity of a crash and reduce the effectiveness of the protection equipment in their cars.
Information is key
Young drivers are inexperienced, and you don’t want them to learn the lesson by going through an accident. Talk to your teen with patience and let them know that these bad habits can lead to a severe accident. Your teen might need to drive at some point, but you can help them avoid injuries by informing them about the risks in advance.