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Teen Driving Safety

It is well known that teenagers account for more auto accidents across the country than any other age group. By learning defensive driving techniques and modelling behaviors established by more experienced drivers, teen drivers can decrease their chances of being involved in a serious accident. Unfortunately, when teenage drivers are involved in an accident, it is all too often result of a lack of experience and overconfidence in their abilities.

Teen drivers are more likely to be distracted, to speed, to have more passengers in the car, or to engage in other types of risky behaviors that can put them in harm's way. Furthermore, when an accident occurs that injures or kills others, teenagers' risky behaviors can have ripple effects for the friends and family members of those who are hurt and killed. Teen driving crashes often involve more or higher incidents of:

  • Excessive speed
  • Driver error
  • Alcohol use
  • Night time fatal crashes
  • Single vehicle crashes
  • Lack of wearing a seatbelt

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 2,300 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years old were killed in that year alone and nearly 200,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents. Legislators have been aware of this problem for many years and have taken many positive steps to increase teen driving safety.

These include changing seatbelt laws, drinking and driving laws and providing graduated drivers licensing systems that have passenger restrictions, night driving restrictions and supervised driving for beginning drivers for a period of at least 6 months. There are several other tips that can be employed to decrease the number of accidents caused by teen drivers.

Whether teens have been behind the wheel of a car for months or are just getting ready to hit the road for the first time, there are eight safe driving tips that can decrease their chances of being involved in a significant accident that could hurt or kill others.

Don't Use a Cellphone at All

Plenty of studies indicate that using a cellphone in any capacity while operating a vehicle is the equivalent of driving drunk. This is true even when the phone is hands free. Additionally, various states throughout the country prohibit the use of cellphones while driving. It's much better to turn your phone on airplane mode and to check in to social media once you have safely arrived and are out of the car.

Turn on the Headlights

Using your headlights always increases the visibility and helps other drivers to see you, even when you feel like it's light enough out that this is not necessary. In the early evening or early morning, using your lights can indicate your presence to other drivers.

Never Text

Texting and driving is an extremely prevalent behavior amongst teenagers but it can also cause a serious loss of focus. In fact, it can pull your eyes away from the road for up to 5 seconds. A lot can go wrong during the time that you look away from the road. Many states, furthermore, ban texting and driving. It's not worth the risk.

Follow the Speed Limit

Unfortunately, many fatal teen accidents are tied to significant speeds. This is particularly true when you are driving on roads that you're not familiar with or with lots of traffic.

Decrease Distractions

You might be tempted to carry out other activities in the car or to drive with multiple passengers but this can be extremely dangerous when you are behind the wheel. You are more apt to lose control of your car because you are an inexperienced driver.

Drive Alone

Having just one passenger inside your car can more than double your chances of being involved in a vehicle accident.

Engage in Defensive Driving

Make sure that you always have possible escape routes in mind when operating and be mindful of the traffic next to, behind and in front of you. Staying a minimum of one car length behind the vehicle in front of you can help to prepare you in the event of an accident.

Choose a Safe Car

The latest safety equipment should always be installed in your vehicle like electronic stability control, airbags and antilock brakes. Make sure that you also evaluate the car's crash safety record before choosing the one that is perfect for you.

These driving tips can help to decrease the number of significant teen accidents that occur on the road every single year.

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