DeAnn Owens
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IIHS Study Says Teens Benefit From Driver-Assist Tech

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Photo: The News Wheel

Driver-assist tech is designed to help safeguard the journeys of every driver, but it is especially helpful for young drivers. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determined that three-quarters of fatal crashes involving teen drivers can be prevented or lessened with specific safety systems.

Learn More: Best safety technology for teen drivers

“We know these technologies don’t stop 100 percent of the crashes they’re designed to address, but our analysis shows that the potential benefits for teen drivers could be pretty stunning if they were widely used,” says IIHS Research Scientist Alexandra Mueller, the lead author of the paper.

Teen drivers often push the speed limit, don’t always buckle up, and lack the necessary experience to be confident behind the wheel. These factors contribute to their tendency to be involved in more accidents compared to more mature drivers.

According to past research, the IIHS notes that teen drivers don’t react properly to driving hazards, easily lose focus, and don’t often lay off the gas pedal when driving in challenging conditions.

“They are also often involved in rear-end and right-angle crashes,” adds the IIHS.

Tech designed to address the reported weaknesses and inexperience of teen drivers such as front crash prevention tech and lane departure prevention can do wonders for teen drivers, notes the IIHS.

Another tech like the Teen Driver system from General Motors helps guardians monitor the driving behaviors of teen drivers. It even allows for parental controls for speed, the stereo system, and seatbelt operation. This tech and parental controls can encourage teen drivers to be more responsible and focused behind the wheel.

“Even if these technologies are only moderately effective, they could prevent many injuries and deaths. The IIHS analysis showed that speeding contributed to almost 40 percent of teen driver deaths and about a fifth of teen driver injuries. About 40 percent of the teen drivers who were killed were not wearing a seat belt,” reports the IIHS.

If you’re looking for a car for your teen driver, it’s important to prioritize safety tech in your search.