As a parent of a teen who is about to get his or her driver’s license in New Jersey, you probably have many worries. Driving is a very big responsibility. One mistake when driving could take a life. There is no room for errors or misjudgments. Your teen must take this seriously, but you may still worry about his or her safety even if he or she is a very responsible person. This is completely normal.

The National Safety Council explains that teen drivers are the most at-risk category of drivers. About half of all teens will be in a car accident before they graduate high school. While people often like to talk about how teens goof off behind the wheel or get distracted too easily, the main reason for this statistic and the high risk for teens is inexperience.

Teen drivers simply do not have the skills or knowledge to avoid accidents. They may make incorrect assessments of the roadway and other vehicles because they do not have the ability yet to make proper ones. This could lead to pulling out in front of another vehicle or misjudging the stopping distance and rear-ending another vehicle.

Part of the reason teens are not fully ready to drive when they become legal to do so is that state laws are lacking in this area. The testing process is rather simple and does not require enough road time or skill-building. The final assessment of skills happens so fast, it really cannot determine that a driver is ready to hit the road unsupervised.

This is where you have to step in. You should continue to supervise driving and help teach your child new skills. You also need to set rules and enforce them strictly. This can help your teen to be a better driver and understand what a big responsibility it is. This information is for education and is not legal advice.