Finishing driving school and getting a driver’s license is a very exciting time in the life of a teenager. It can also be a very frightening time for their parents. Unfortunately, 4.4 percent of seventeen-year-olds and 4.7 percent of eighteen-year-olds are involved in crashes (the highest of any age group). The third week of October is National Teen Driver Safety Week, so we thought we would share our six essential tips that all teen drivers should keep in mind when they hit the road.
1. Put the Phone Away
Cell phones are the number one reason teenagers get into automobile accidents. When they get behind the wheel, make it very clear that cell phones must be put away. This means no calls and no texting, period. Ten percent of all accidents caused by teenagers are due to distracted driving. The life of your teenager is more important than any message. If they have to answer, teach them to drive to a safe location to park before replying.
2. Don’t Let Music Become a Distraction
Speaking of distractions, we know very well how important music is for teenagers of any generation. It has only become easier to listen to your favorite songs by connecting your cell phone to your vehicle. Teenagers should avoid two aspects of driving with music: don’t take your eyes off the road to change the song, and keep the volume of the music low enough that they will be able to hear horns and other sounds from outside the vehicle.
3. Always Buckle Your Seat Belt
If your teenager is driving, there is no reason they should not be wearing their seat belt while doing so. About 47% of people who die in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing their seat belt at the time. Remind your teen to click their seat belt every time they drive!
4. Follow Speed Limits
Contrary to the popular belief of teenagers and young drivers, speed limits are not suggestions. This is especially true to learn as a new driver. Help them keep residential speed limits in mind when there are people and children around. And on busy roads, slower speeds will mean more reaction time in emergencies.
5. Slow Down When Driving in Rain or Snow
Also contrary to popular belief (for all drivers, in fact), speed limits are not requirements. During periods of intense rain or ice, teenagers should be taught that slow speeds are more than acceptable. As embarrassing as it might feel for a teenager to start “forming a line” behind them as they drive cautiously, slower speeds can save lives, including theirs.
6. Don’t Drive with Friends for a While after Getting Your License
Driving requires a surprising amount of situational awareness that teenagers are not accustomed to, especially during longer trips. As the parent, you can discuss with your teenager how safe they would feel driving with the distraction of friends. On average, a teenager needs a year to develop the skills needed to drive with confidence, but this can vary. Fewer pulls on a teenager’s attention while driving lessens the chances of accidents.
Contact SG3 Towing and Recovery for Towing in St. George, Utah
There’s nothing quite like the freedom an automobile can afford a young person, and we hope that your teenager stays safe during their early years on the road. But if you or your teen need assistance on the road with flat tires or break-downs, give SG3 Towing and Recovery a call. We will be on the scene in no time.