Did you know that teen drivers are most likely to have a crash within the first year of getting their license?
Did you know that the main reason for this is due to driver error?
There are three critical errors that cause nearly half of all serious accidents involving teen drivers.
- An inability to recognize hazardous situations: Most new drivers do not scan their surroundings often enough to notice and react to issues that they will have to react to, especially at night. They should be constantly asking themselves, what if. What if that car coming toward me should swerve into my lane? What if an animal should dart in front of the car, will I have room to pull of the road or change lanes? Is my exit coming up and do I need to move over to the right, when should I go? All these and many other scenarios should be ingrained into our heads and this can only come from a proper driving education and practice.
- Driving Too Fast for road conditions: Teens often overestimate their driving abilities and definitely drive too fast to negotiate curves or stop safely: This is a big one in my opinion. I call this on the superman (or woman) complex. Being young, most teens don’t think about the consequences. Drivers should realize that they need to slow down at a turn, but, they can learn to coast through a turn and come out of it quicker then speeding though it and slamming on the breaks. Which can cause you to lose control and go off the road. And what about road conditions. Did you know that a 4 wheel drive will not help you any more than a front or real wheel drive on ice? Did you know that it takes longer to stop a motor vehicle on a wet surface then a dry one? This should be second nature but it takes time and a good drivers education.
- Distractions: Playing loud music, talking on the cellphones and texting are extremely dangerous distractions for all drivers but for a new driver this can be disastrous. But distraction of friends in the car may be greater then all of these. The risk of a crash doubles when a teen has one peer in the car and triples with two or more. Why is that? Think about it. Now they have an audience. Someone to show off how great a driver they are. The guys will show off how fast they can go or whether they can make the next light or turn fast. The girls will want to play the music loud and sing along with her friends and of course look at them when talking and singing and both will want to have a good time. So now your combing parting with your friends and showing off by the least experienced age group behind the wheel. You have to take the time to learn, to practice and to be responsible and “adult” enough to know when the music is too loud to be paying attention to road. Not to answer the phone unless it’s hands free (even hands free can be a distractions). Did you know that even eating and drinking (Non alcohol) is a distraction. How many people spilled their drink on them while driving and looked down and took their eyes off the road. Now add to that inexperience. 1+1= disaster.
What can we do to help prevent these issues? Parents and other adults can make a difference in their teen’s driving by supervising driving under different conditions and reinforcing proper decision-making skills. They should set expectations for the teens use of the car and inform them of the ramifications if they break those expectations. Most states now have a graduated driver licensing program. Check for what is the law in your area. Take the time to learn and the time to practice without the distractions and you can not only be a great driver but a safe one too. The life you save may be your own. Let us help you learn and the right way and the safe way the first time. Go to defensive-driving.org
The above facts as per a study by “The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia” and “State Farm Insurance”