Road Safety Tips for Your New Teen Driver
Teens love the idea of hitting the open road with their new driver’s license. The concept of having newfound independence offers them freedoms they didn’t have previously. However, there are also risks going along with these rites of passage that parents must help their new teen drivers understand. Each time teens get behind the wheel, it’s another opportunity for safety issues to arise. The following road safety tips for your new driver will help with that effort.
Stow Away Your Phone
It’s tempting for teens to keep their phones in the cupholder or a compartment of the center console. However, when they do this, this also opens them up for the temptation to text while driving. According to data issued by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 10 percent of teen driving accidents resulting in fatalities were due to distracted driving in Texas. Distracted drivers are twenty-three times more likely to experience an auto accident if they’re texting while driving, and they’re six times more likely to have involvement in a crash if they’re attempting to dial their phones. Therefore, the best advice you can give your new teen driver is to keep their phone stowed away in the glove compartment while they’re behind the wheel.
Keep Seatbelts Fastened
The feeling of invincibility is one that is common among many teens, and driving is no exception. Some new drivers believe they don’t need to wear their seatbelts if they’re driving a few minutes from point A to point B. Then, before long, it becomes habitual for them to discontinue wearing seatbelts altogether. The problem with this is, statistics point out that nearly 47 percent of the teen deaths involving vehicle accidents were where the drivers didn’t wear their seatbelt during the crash. That risky behavior is fatal and should be discussed with teens as a means of keeping them safe on the roads.
Maintain a Safe Speed
One of the leading risk factors for teen drivers is speeding. In addition to feeling pressure for keeping up with traffic, they’ll also drive at excessive speeds to try to impress their peers. What they don’t realize when engaging in this risky behavior is that, when teens are involved in a fatal auto accident, speed is the cause 32 percent of the time. It isn’t uncommon for teens to see their parents speeding and use that as a cause for argument during safe driving discussions. Therefore, it’s critical for everyone in the household to implement these safety measures to ensure new drivers are safe.
How Can Parents Lead This Discussion?
When parents set the example by being safe drivers, they can have a more useful discussion with their new teen drivers. For instance, if they’re texting while driving, not wearing their seatbelt, or driving at excessive speeds, it’ll be challenging for parents to have a productive conversation about being safe while driving. Teens watch everything their parents are doing, so it’s critical that a good example is set. Communicate each time an issue occurs, as well as the dangers that could happen each time they get behind the wheel.
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