Teenagers are being let on our roads ill prepared to deal with the challenges they face. As a result they are being killed at an alarming rate!
As a nation, we are not doing enough to reverse this epidemic among teens, with catastrophic results. In the USA teenage drivers account for only 7% of the driving population, yet they account for 14% of the fatalities and 20% of the collisions.
In South Africa, particularly in Gauteng it is not an uncommon sight to see markings on the road marking the place where a teenager died. All new drivers can make wrong decisions behind the wheel; however teens are the most at jeopardy. They bring to the road a unique mix of inexperience, distraction, peer pressure and a tendency to underestimate risk.
Most South Africans typically learn to drive during the teen years, when the brain is not fully mature. Recent research is beginning to give us insight why many teens have difficulty regulating risk-taking behaviour:
The area of the brain that weighs consequences, suppresses impulses and organizes thoughts does not fully mature until about age 25.
Hormones are more active in teens, which influence the brain’s neurochemicals that regulate excitability and mood. The result can be thrill-seeking behaviour and experiences that create intense feelings.
Learning to regulate driving behaviour comes with time and practice.
Teen Driving offers balanced approaches to help teens not only regulate their own driving behaviour, but also help them deal with the actual issues that can influence their behaviour.
But what is wrong with the present status quo.
Parents the most likely tutor has probably been driving for 25+ years. While they can do a great job tutoring a child as they learns to get the feel of the car...how to navigate through traffic, etc. But most parents aren't up to date on the present challenges such as the new AARTO legislation , legislation that affect both teens and parents.
Further, the risk factors that lead to crashes are manageable -- if you know what they are, and how to avoid them. Training by experts will help teenagers get a head start in their driving career – a course that could ultimately save their life.