Treating Young Drivers Equally

It used to be that, despite all the traditional "woman driver" jokes, young ladies beginning to drive were different from their male counterparts….they were safer. Time passes and things have changed, this time for the worse. Trends, particularly accident statistics, show that girls are gaining equality with boys on the roadways.

The latest information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the youngest set of female drivers, aged 16, are becoming involved in more accidents. While 16 year old boys are still the scourge of the traffic system, 16 year old girls, licenses still warm from the laminating machine, are closing the gap regarding accidents, increasing their involvement in both non-fatal and fatal categories. Another factor contributing to the equality is that the accident rate for boys in the same age group is improving.

What action should parents of a budding driver take? Begin by recognizing that your new driver, girl or boy, needs your help. Make sure that you provide proper instruction and driving practice. If you’re not already, become a positive driving role model. Once he or she has a license, resist any urge to allow broad driving privileges or to assign responsibility to take over chores such as driving younger siblings. Also, make sure that you exercise control over how and when they can operate a car. Finally, bite the expense bullet and make sure your son or daughter is properly insured. Your insurance professional can give you more assistance in seeing that your new driver turns into a safe one.