Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 to 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, a new online program - combined with the right car insurance coverage - could provide an essential layer of protection for youth who are about to get behind the wheel.
"Some parents and pediatricians might not realize that motor vehicle crashes are the main cause of unintentional injuries and deaths for teen drivers," said Jean Shope, Ph.D., of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
In an effort to educate parents about the dangers of teen driving and help youngsters develop more effective strategies for driving safely, Shope and a team of researchers studied the impact that pediatric intervention could have on promoting better teen driving habits.
Presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition, the study revealed the benefits of Checkpoints, an online safe driving program that pediatrics can direct parents toward for data on teen driving trends, state-specific driving laws and other interactive features.
"Parents play a key role in limiting and monitoring their teens' early driving," added Shope. "The parent-directed, evidence-based Checkpoints program, adapted to a user-friendly website, can help parents protect their teen drivers, and is available at no cost."
Parents with youngsters who have recently gotten behind the wheel can also work to reduce the occurrence of teen driving accidents by exercising greater vigilance. Investing in car insurance for young drivers is only one aspect of helping ensure their safety on the road - parents can also better protect youngsters by prohibiting the use of cell phones in cars and the number of passengers that teens are allowed to have inside a vehicle.
In addition, teens should be cautioned against speeding or operating their vehicles late at night, as this could contribute to potential accidents.