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The First Year: Statistics Regarding The Safety of Newly Licensed Drivers

Fatalities in Teen Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that about 2 000 teens were killed in car crashes in 2011 and about 180 000 more were injured. About half of fatal crashes killed passengers not the teen driver. Many friends family members and strangers have died because a teen driver made a mistake. These statistics are sobering but the good news is that by driving safely and gaining experience you can reduce your risk of getting into an accident.

Contributing Factors

State Farm suggests that mistakes increase with every mile over the speed limit; many fatal accidents are one-car crashes where the driver was speeding and not wearing a seat belt. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the crash risk for a teen driver goes down for each month of driving. Clearly the first year with a license is a critical time when teens like you are gaining the experience to drive safely.

Don't Be A Statistic

What can you do to avoid becoming a statistic? Safety organizations and experts on the subject point to education as the number one way to become a smarter driver. You can seize every opportunity to understand traffic laws and driver responsibilities by studying your state's driving handbook and using DMV practice tests to review what you've learned. Use this helpful map to select your state and begin practicing. Every state has slightly different laws and requirements but they all have one purpose in mind: your safety. Driving With Friends: State Laws and Tips for Staying Safe";"Driving with Friends: State Laws and Tips for Staying Safe";"Almost every state has restrictions on teen drivers carrying passengers who are not family. When you are learning to drive friends in the vehicle are a distraction and you could put an unrelated person at risk for injury or death if you aren't careful.

State Laws on Teen Passengers

Almost every state has restrictions on who a new driver may have as a passenger in a vehicle. Some states require that when you have a restricted license you may carry no one under the age of 18 or 21 unless they are related. Often the passenger restriction ends at 17 or 18 when you obtain a regular license.

Risk of Distraction

Because you are still learning the rules of the road and need to put your focus on other cars road signs and traffic patterns your state may restrict the number of passengers in order to keep you from being distracted. Your friends might talk text play with the radio or do other things that can cause you to take your eye off the road. Statistics show that teens riding with other teens take more risks such as speeding or ignoring traffic signals than those who are riding with a parent or alone.

Tips for Safety

The first tip for driving with other teens is to keep focus on the road and not to allow others in the vehicle to distract you. Even if passengers in the vehicle push you to drive faster you should ignore the requests and remain at a safe speed. If another teen in the vehicle does something unsafe such as refusing to wear a seat belt you must let your friend know they must follow the rules. If they are really your friends they will understand your need for safety at all times. These tips can help you remain safe and keep the other passengers in the car safe as well. Be sure to check your state's laws to determine how many if any passengers may ride in the car with a teen driver. To review driving regulations taking a DMV practice test is a good resource for teens just learning the rules of the road.