It is only natural for parents to feel nervous when their teen gets behind the wheel for the first time. After all, the road can be a dangerous place for all drivers.
Parents already have enough to worry about when it comes to their kids, but a report from earlier this year might be another cause for alarm for both Kentucky parents and teens.
Kentucky teens have a higher risk of being involved in a fatal car crash
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kentucky is the deadliest state in the country for teen drivers. The report found that:
- Teens in Kentucky are 140% more likely to die in a car crash than the average teenager; and
- Kentucky also holds a significant – and dangerous – lead as the deadliest state for teens behind the wheel, since teens are also 16% more likely to be involved in a deadly car crash in Kentucky than in the second deadliest state, Mississippi.
What makes Kentucky so dangerous?
The study based its findings on the number of fatal accidents that occur each year, without looking in-depth at:
- The causes behind the high rate of deadly crashes involving teens; or
- The specific dangers on Kentucky roads.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are several factors that significantly increase the risk teen drivers face, including:
- Teens are more apt to speed than drivers in other age groups;
- Unfortunately, teens have the lowest rate of using seat belts compared to other age groups;
- Rates of distracted driving are high among teens; and
- Teens who just received their licenses are also more likely to be involved in an accident due to inexperience.
Being aware of these risk factors can help both teens and their parents reduce the considerable risk they face on the road. If each family takes action to help their teen be safer and more alert behind the wheel, then it is possible that together we can help make Kentucky roads safer for all teens.