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Deadliest Season for Teen Drivers Has Begun

Tips for New Drivers

Each year Memorial Day indicates the start of the deadliest season for teen drivers. These dangerous days are book-ended by Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Defensive Driving Educators teach and work with teens about practicing their defensive driving skills all year around. However, no one has as much influence on them as the parents do.

So, if you are a parent of a teenage driver, what can you do to help? These are 4 topics you may want to discuss and press with your teen:

1 – Friends are deadly.
Without sounding too dramatic, the fact is that teens sharing the car ride with friends are at a much higher risk of an accident. The distraction factor is huge. Statistics show that even having only one friend in the car increases the chances of an accident by a staggering +40%. Can you imagine having a car full of friends? Suggest to your kids to ride alone whenever possible. When not possible, remind them to stay focused on the driving task, at the cost of being rude to their Besties. The  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has an infographic that shows an increase of 44% when a teen has a companion under 21 years of age:

Defensive Driving Teens

2 – Turn the phone off.
Of course the word ‘phone’ is nowadays a misnomer. ‘Phones’ are no longer just devices used to make phone calls; they are in fact portable computers/entertainment devices. Turning the mobile device off is really the only way to make sure extra distractions are not impeding the teen’s driving focus. Even if the teen is not actively engaged and looking at their device, the sounds, screen flashing, buzzes and vibrations caused by the Tweets, post notifications, etc… etc… will take the driver’s attention from the driving task.

This is a good but intense short video produced by the NHTS to illustrate the point.

3 – Wear the seat belt.
Amazingly enough, the concept of wearing a seatbelt is still not widely accepted by teens and for that matter some adults. The NHTS reports that of all the teens involved in fatal crashes, 60% were not using a seat belt; SIXTY percent!

4 – Experience is everything.
Parent, please get in the car with your teens as often as you can and drive together. Monitor, observe, instruct and just spend time with your teen while driving. There are even websites like driveithome.org that have weekly tips for parents driving with their teens.

Of course there are many other things that can minimize the chances of accidents. Things like, no driving during dark hours, of course no drinking, getting enough sleep during the night. With all the teens being mostly out of school at the same time, driving together trying to have fun, the risk factors increase dramatically.

Please talk about the defensive driving attitude and driving safety with your kids as often as possible.

Have a great, safe summer and check out this great infographic below.

WirelessDefensiveDriving.com

Teen Driving infographic
Provided by Drive It Home

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