No wonder, teen drivers (especially between 16 and 19) account for more auto accidents than other age groups. This pitiful scenario is further complicated by the fact that parents do not carefully introduce driving privileges and recent stats also don’t show a reversal of this lamentable trend.
However, the good news is that most of the auto accidents involving teenagers can be prevented if only some safe driving techniques could be adopted. Such techniques, when adopted, would not only increase your chances of safety on the road but would also give you leverage in terms of having a more affordable car insurance. There are a lot of essential safe driving tips for teens, which if utilized, can greatly minimize the odds of getting into a serious crash along with your passengers. Just before we go over some ideas that can make a teenager a competent and safe driver, it is imperative to explore some startling stats about this problem;
Vehicular Deaths as a Public Concern among Teenagers
The first time behind the wheel for most teenagers comes with much anxiety. This probably explains why auto crashes top the killer list among teens with the passengers being the scapegoat most times. To back this claim, several studies have indicated that more than 50% of teenagers who do not survive an auto crash are the passengers who usually don’t wear the seat belts. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2013 revealed a shocking report where 2,163 teenagers aged 16-19 lost their lives in auto accidents and almost 250,000 received medical care after an auto crash involvement. Analyzing these shocking stats indicated an everyday death tally of 6 per day which is quite worrisome.
The CDC further reported that while younger Americans, aged 15-24 answer for about 14% of the population, they cause 30% of automobile-related costs, which is a horrifying estimate. This high crash rate of teenagers (within the 16-19 range) makes them the most risky/susceptible age group of drivers in the U.S. Out of this prone individuals; the male teen drivers are more than 300% statistically more likely to be involved in a casualty that those drivers over 20 years of age.
Thus, due to these chilling stats, some parents have resorted to declining to allow their children get licensed until they are 18 and are legal adults. At this juncture, it should be emphasized that not all teenage drivers at this age would have acquired all necessary judgment that comes from experience. On the other hand, some troubled parents who have the money could decide to install strict performance controls that do not permit excessive speeding and aggressive maneuvers.
In addition to the hazardous driving situations presented by teens is the controversial debate about what sex is the better driver. For the teenagers between 16 and 19, there’s usually no base for comparison. Male teens are the most lethal drivers as they double the rate of crashes when compared with their female counterparts. Another vast risk factor is the passengers in the car which often tempt the kids to show off risky behaviors and drive wildly – a dangerous practice that usually leads to crash incidents and untimely deaths.
Research shows that the risk increases with an increase in the number of young passengers. Hence, if you see a car that’s full of 5 or 6 teenagers, give them a good deal of space as there are chances that they would be doing dangerous maneuvers at an alarming speed. These risky young drivers frequently undervalue grievous conditions like ice and rain and take turns to accelerate or even overlook stopping distance. They also tailgate more often and engage in silly acts like talking on phones, sending texts and chatting with friends in the car while on the highways.
As if that is not enough, the sorriest stats out there are the alcohol associated deaths of teenage drivers. Over 70% of teenage deaths between the ages 15 and 20 are inclined to alcohol consumption. Latest laws to deter drunk driving seem to be working with older adults but youngsters are still taking huge risks behind the wheel and driving intoxicated. This extremely dangerous behavior not only puts the driver and passengers at risk but everyone else that is sharing the road with these selfish impaired drivers.
However, the prevention to these odds is that these teenagers are capable of being keen drivers if they would get enlightened and practice defensive driving thereby enabling them to build their confidence and experience.
Safe Driving Tips for Young Drivers
1. Wear your seatbelt at all times
It is important for new drivers to set the pace in becoming good role models as many teenagers still find it discomforting to put on a seat belt. This notion is not only dim-witted but can be deadly. Ensure you wear your seat belt at all times, irrespective of your age.
2. Do Not Mix Drug and Alcohol with Driving
Discussing the perils of drug and alcohol use has a big role to play when it comes to safe driving. If you are under 21, then it is against the law to do drugs/consume alcohol and even worse to get behind the wheel drunk. To avoid impaired driving, stay away from drugs/alcohol and driving at all times!
3. Enroll for a Certified Safety Course
Checking whether your insurance company offers a safe driving program is another bold step to monitor the way your teens drive and alert you (as parents) of any unsafe driving practice. Teenagers can be arrogant and think they know it all about driving on their first day behind the wheel. There is, however, so much good information to be learned; like their responsibilities as young drivers, important defensive driving strategies as well as the implications of not meeting targeted expectations. Also, if your teenager completes this certified course, you may be eligible for a 5% discount or more on your auto insurance costs.
4. Don’t Drive while Exhausted
While it is not as noxious as DUIs, drowsy driving can easily kill. If you feel worn-out, pull over right away and take a quick nap or switch drivers.
5. Abide with all Traffic Laws – especially Speed Limits
Driving at a speed breaking limit has been a big killer of teenagers. The speed limits are there for a motive, so comply with them. Moreover, the more you obey them, the more mature your driving attitudes become. If weather conditions are unfavorable, slow down and always drive carefully.
6. Recognize the Dangers of Distracted Driving
Most youngsters virtually have their smartphones handy while driving. These devices injure and kill thousands of teen drivers each year as they are always phoning or texting behind the wheel. If you are driving, turn your cell phone off and leave it that way till you get out of the car. Do not use a cell phone on the road as this undemanding advice could save your life. Other distractions like listening to the music (at the highest volume) and chatting with friends should also be kept to the barest minimum.
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