Due to the high risk of teen car accidents, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to be cautious about handing over the car keys to their teen children. Many parents are excited about the new convenience of having a teen licensed to drive, but Dr. Dennis Durbin of the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia states that “This supposed rite of passage is fraught with danger.” Dr. Durbin co-auhored the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new policy statement about new, young drivers. The policy statement contains recommended steps and restrictions that parents can make to reduce the risks facing new teen drivers. “Teen drivers have a crash rate almost two times higher than that of 20- to 24- year olds, three times that of 25- to 29- year olds and four times that of 30- to 69- year olds. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for older teens and account for more than 5,000 deaths each year.” The risk of a teen driver having a car accident iincreases when there are other teens in the car. Parents must supplement state driving laws by making sure that their teen is ready to drive, not just of “driving age” and making rules for the privilege of driving. Parents should also make sure that there is plenty of supervised driving practice.
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