How likely is your teen to be in a crash?

Sunday Star-Times - - WORLD -

It’s no se­cret that teenagers love their in­de­pen­dence, and be­ing able to drive is the ul­ti­mate act of teenage free­dom. As hard as it might be for us as par­ents to come to terms with our child grow­ing up, we can’t deny this new­found free­dom also frees us too. Gone are the days of school car­pool­ing, sports drop-offs and late night so­cial pick-ups. We are no longer the fam­ily taxi, and we’re ac­tu­ally start­ing to re­claim some ‘me time’ back. Even though we en­joy this new­found free­dom, we can’t let go of the reins en­tirely. The need to keep our re­stricted drivers safe on the road is more im­por­tant than ever. In the first six months of driv­ing solo, a re­stricted driver is at greater risk of hav­ing a crash than at any other time in their life, and are seven times more likely to be in­volved in a fa­tal or se­ri­ous in­jury crash than other drivers. Even if they are re­spon­si­ble drivers, their abil­ity to re­act to oth­ers on the road is hin­dered by their in­ex­pe­ri­ence. On top of that, the dis­trac­tion of peer pas­sen­gers or poor vis­i­bil­ity at night, makes for dif­fi­cult driv­ing con­di­tions. The prob­lem is that teenagers’ are still de­vel­op­ing and their as­sess­ment of risk is dif­fer­ent to ours. This is why we need to re­mind them (and our­selves) of why the rules are so im­por­tant. You prob­a­bly en­joy them hav­ing their re­stricted as much as they do, but re­mem­ber there’s a rea­son for the re­stric­tions: Home by 10pm, no pas­sen­gers.

For more in­for­ma­tion, head to drive.govt.nz.

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