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Teen safety while driving must be a priority for everyone

In many ways, teenage drivers are the safest drivers on the road, as the lessons from driver's education classes are still fresh in their minds. Unlike "seasoned" drivers, most teenagers haven't had time to pick up bad habits or shortcuts that have become part of today's traffic scene. Nonetheless, inexperience under the stress of heavy and speeding traffic can cause problems and uncertainty behind the wheel. 

There are some specific points that must be reinforced often. When parents don't do this, there is a chance that the young drivers might not abide by safety rules and wind up in an accident, potentially hurting -- or worse -- themselves and others. Here are a few points that all parents of teenagers should enforce.

Distractions must be avoided

A distracted teen driver is very dangerous. All drivers should avoid using cellphones to check social media or doing anything else that can take their hands off the wheel, minds off driving duties, or eyes off the road. For these new drivers, even other passengers in the car can be very distracting so parents should limit the number of passengers they are allowed to have with them.

Speed and control matter

A teen's brain isn't prepared to avoid risky behavior. One study found that the ability to control impulses doesn't fully develop until a person is 23 or 24 years old, but the desire to "sensation seek" peaks at around 19 years old. This puts teens in a precarious position of being more prone to risky behavior.

Despite the scientific explanation, it is imperative that teens learn how to quell risky behavior impulses when they drive. Speeding is one of the riskiest things that teen drivers can do besides driving while distracted. When they speed, they might not be able to control the vehicles if there are obstacles in the way.

Get experience

New teen drivers shouldn't be expected or allowed to drive whenever and wherever they want. Instead, they should start off with close, supervised trips so that they can become accustomed to handling some of the more common obstacles and events that might happen while they are behind the wheel. This is one reason why graduated driver's license systems are used so widely by states.

Accidents with teen drivers should be handled the same way as any other driver. It is important to file a police report and always seek medical care, even if you may not think you have been injured.

www.cbsnews.com/news/teens-brains-are-wired-for-risky-behavior-study/

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