One of the first steps toward transitioning from a teen into an adult is obtaining a driver’s license. It’s exciting for many, but also potentially dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control, teenagers are more susceptible to auto accident injuries than any other age group.
Safety Tips For Teen Drivers
Teens take more risks on the road than some of the older, more experienced drivers. In order to keep your teenager safe as a driver, have them follow these tips recommended by our Orthopedic Doctors.
Always Wear A Seatbelt
Everyone in a car should be wearing a seatbelt at all times of operation. That rule doesn’t change for the driver. Wearing a seatbelt can often lead to life or death situations in an accident, so make sure everyone in the car has one on.
Shut Off The Phone
We know it’s difficult for these teenagers, but there should be no texting, phone calls or social media while behind the wheel. The most common factor in auto accidents comes from a driver being distracted, so texting isn’t the best thing to be doing. Especially considering the DMV reports that texting while driving causes drivers to lose focus for over four seconds. Four seconds is a long time to be distracted on the road.
Phone use isn’t the only thing that can distract a driver. Eating, changing radio stations, talking to passengers or even blaring the tunes can impair focus and reaction time. Avoid eating and drinking while driving, keep the passenger total low, and make sure to keep focused on the road at all times.
Driving is already dangerous for teenagers, but driving at night when it’s dark out only makes it more so. The fatal crash rate for teenagers at night is four times as high than it is during daylight, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Changing conditions are harder to see and distances are more difficult to determine at night. By setting a curfew, teens will minimally be on the road at the most dangerous time.
Teenager-involved accidents are often associated with speeding. That extends to even single-car accidents, as the teen loses control of the car because they were driving too fast. Speeding is very dangerous, and if caught by a police officer, can be very expensive too.
Tailgating, or following too closely, is an immature act on the road. New drivers aren’t fully knowledgeable on stop time and the difficulty of halting at the drop of a dime, so leaving nearly no space between cars leads to many accidents. It’s physically impossible to stop at the exact moment to the exact degree of the car in front at certain speeds. Why take the risk?
Set A Good Example
As parents, your kid looks and does things the way you do oftentimes. Show them what behavior while driving should look like. Follow the above tips yourself to try and influence your teen to do the same.