Passengers are a huge risk factor for new young drivers. Fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers are more likely to occur when there are other teens in the vehicle – and the risk increases with every additional teen passenger. Condiser a no-passenger rule for at least the first year of unsupervised driving. New drivers need time to practise without the distraction of other teen passengers.
Seatbelts provide the best protection in a crash, reducing the chance of injury or death by more than 50%. Yet, over half of Alberta’s teen drivers and passengers who were seriously injured in crashes over a five year period were not wearing seatbelts. Your teen should only drive when everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.
Most deadly crashes involving teens happen between 9.00pm and 6.00am. Consider restricting your teen’s driving during these hours, especially on a Friday and Saturday night. You can renegotiate this once your teen shows responsibility and gets more driving experience.
In Alberta, over 75% of serious injury crashes involving teens happen in rural areas. There are many reasons for this, including too many passengers in the vehicle, limited use of seatbelts, road conditions and alcohol use. If your teen must drive on rural roads, consider setting some tough rules on where, when and with whom they can drive.
The effects of alcohol on driving performance can begin with the first drink. The risk of a crash increases significantly at the .05 blood alcohol level, or just over half the legal limit of .08. Alberta’s GDL puts tough restrictions on alcohol use during the learner and probationary periods (zero alcohol level). Consider making your own no alcohol or drug policy after your teen gets a full privilege license.