Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

 September 3, 2018

Teenagers are known to have impulsive behavior and feelings of immortality. As they approach the driving age, parents wrestle with the notion of their safety in the context of driving and freedom. I have a rising driver in the house and the thought of releasing the teenage boy's mind to navigate a 2 plus ton battering ram is very, very scary.

In the December 2014 issue of the Journal Injury Prevention, there is a study looking at the cars that were driven in fatal crashes. On a per mile basis, teenage drivers are three times more likely to die in a car crash then adults. Between 2008 and 2012

, the authors of the study analyzed car wreck data and found that teenagers that died in a car crash were more likely to be driving smaller and older cars than their adult counterparts. Cars were on average 6 to 15 years old. They often did not have side air bags and traction stability control devices that are standard on most newer cars.

As our kids age, I am now thinking of these issues. When I was 16, I felt immortal and impulsive. My first car was my father's old tank called the Chevy Nova. No airbags or safety measures to speak of, but it was a tank. Fortunately, I was wreck free during my teenage years.
What this data says to me is this: given the opportunity, provide your child with the safest possible car during the years where they are impulsive, immortal and frankly downright stupid at times.

Visit this website for data on cars that are fit for teens based on IIHS studies.

Prevention of death seems like a prudent choice when it comes to teens and driving!


Dr. M



Journal of Injury Prevention McCartt Article