The holidays are so busy with everyone traveling. Roads become busier and it’s important to stay alert during these times of the year. The ones most at risk of car accidents are our teen drivers. It’s important to focus on their safety because they don’t have as much driving experience. Share these tips from our Atlanta Orthopedic Doctors with your teens to keep them safe during the holiday season.
How to Prepare Teens for Driving Safely During the Holidays
Practice Makes Better Drivers
It’s important for teen drivers to have practice so they can become better drivers. When you are going places, make sure that your teen drivers get time behind the wheel under adult supervision while they have their permit. The more practice that they get, the more prepared they will be on the road when they drive solo.
Drive in All Conditions
Discuss all the conditions teens may face on the road before they become really good at driving. Reduced visibility from a thunderstorm, slick snow, and setting sun in their eyes are all problems a teen driver will encounter. Make sure your teen experiences unusual conditions driving with you in the car.
Discourage Phone Use
Texting while driving completely takes a teen’s mind off of the road. It’s the biggest distraction, but other types of phone use such as web surfing are dangerous even if it’s done at a traffic light. Make sure that your teen doesn’t use the phone while driving.
Other distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, or messing with the car stereo can also take your teen’s mind off of the road. Stress the importance of keeping eyes on the road.
Take These Steps to Keep Teens Safe on the Road During the Holidays
Enforce Seatbelts Use
Seatbelts decrease death or injury in an accident by 50 percent, so it’s vital that teens buckle up. Set a good example for everyone in the family by wearing your seatbelt all the time.
Limits The Number of Passengers
How much more likely is your teen to exhibit risky behavior with more than one person in the car? The answer is they are 3 times as likely to drive dangerously. This party atmosphere encourages teens to “go faster” or “race that car.” Keep your teen limited to one passenger.
When following too closely teens don’t have as much time to react to developing road conditions. Have your teens keep at least 2 seconds between them and the car in front for safe reaction times. This will reduce the risk of teens rear-ending another car.
No Aggressive Driving
There is a difference between defensive driving and aggressive driving. Aggressive driving leads to road rage, defensive driving keeps your teens safe on the road. Teach them that it’s okay to pull over into a parking lot and deal with emotions rather than driving with a flared temper. Set a good example yourself for them to follow.
Speeding is the cause of almost a third of accidents. Teach teens about the importance of obeying the speed limit and slowing down during adverse conditions. Every time speed doubles, stopping distance is increased by four times.
Don’t Drive Impaired
Teens shouldn’t be drinking or using drugs but this is a common problem and a recipe for disaster. This is the cause of nearly one-fifth of fatal accidents involving teens. Have an open conversation with them about the importance of driving sober. Teen drivers can avoid a car accident during the holidays with these tips. If an accident should happen, AICA Orthopedics is here to provide you or your loved ones with the care they need. Our experienced team of chiropractors, physical therapists, and orthopedic surgeons are committed to helping patients on the road to recovery.