Teen drivers are over-represented in crashes, compaired with other age groups. Traffic crashes are the leading killer of Minnesota teens, primarily due to inexperience, risk-taking behind the wheel, speeding and distracted driving. Teens also have the lowest seat belt use rate of all age groups.
Teen crashes display predictable and preventable patterns, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
- Teens are prone to making simple driving errors, often while speeding.
- They are twice as likely to crash at night.
- Crashes while driving to and from school, especially after school, and with other teens in the car are common.
- Teen passengers increase distractions and promote risk-taking behaviors.
Parents play a major role in promoting safe habits among teen drivers. Teens need their parents to be positive role models in the safe driving behavior all ages should practice, such as obeying speed limits, wearing seat belts, and avoiding the use of distracting electronic devices such as cell phones while driving.
In addition, because of the inexperience of younger drivers, parents should ensure that until they have gained adequate experience, teens avoid driving at night, on unfamiliar roads or with other teen passengers.
Parents of teen drivers are encouraged to continue to monitor and train teens even after licensure on a variety of road types and in various conditions (nighttime, rain, snow). The more supervised experience, the safer the teen driver.
Minnesota's teen driver laws can provide powerful tools for parents and teens by focusing on preventing high-risk behaviors.
Teens Behind the Wheel
"Teen Driver Road Rules" brochure
Sources: Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota Safety Council