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7 Safe Driving Tips for Teens

Updated on July 12, 2018

The third week of October is designated as the National Teen Driver Safety Week in the U.S. It is a campaign conducted annually to improve safety awareness among teen drivers and their parents. It aims to pursue ways to prevent undesirable teen deaths while on the roadway.

As part of the campaign, people are informed to take note of the following facts and figures about teen driving:

  • Automobile accidents are the top cause of death of teenagers in America (Other common causes are suicide and homicide).
  • Teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) were involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adult drivers (ages 25 to 69).
  • In one year, drivers who are 19 years old and below were involved in close to 3 million motor vehicle accidents. On the average, about 5,000 teens die every year from car accidents.
  • Of all the motor vehicle-related accidents among teen drivers, 50% are attributed to alcohol drinking and 25% involve speeding. Other pin-pointed behaviors which cause teen-related crashes include not wearing seat belts, distracted driving (cell phone use, loud music, other teen passengers) and night driving.

Teen drivers - Drive safely
Teen drivers - Drive safely | Source

Driving Safety Tips for Teenage Kids

Safe driving is everyone's responsibility. Take into account that over fifty percent of all vehicle accidents could have been averted if car drivers are able to make smart driving choices. The price of a lousy judgment can include injury to oneself or other individuals, death or loss of freedom. Beginner drivers, are generally at an increased risk because they have lesser practical driving experience and the maturity to come up with clever decisions at critical circumstances while driving.

If teen drivers could develop good driving practices early, that will go a long, long way in making driving as safe and secure as possible. No one possesses total control over the circumstances related to a vehicle accident, but there are things which can be carried out to avoid being the source of an accident or perhaps be involved in one. Some of the safe driving tips that teenagers should follow include:

Diagram of the two-second rule in driving. The red car's driver picks a tree to judge a two-second safety buffer. Image by Jeremy Kemp (Public Domain release).
Diagram of the two-second rule in driving. The red car's driver picks a tree to judge a two-second safety buffer. Image by Jeremy Kemp (Public Domain release). | Source

1. Practice defensive driving - Always think ahead. Defensive driving means anticipating danger to avoid accidents. A defensive driver is always alert to possibilities, such as when other vehicles slow down, enter the roadway or stops suddenly. He should always slow down before entering a curve, yield the right of way, and signals well in advance before turning or changing lanes.

2. Do not drive too fast or follow another vehicle too closely. Drive at a safe speed. You should not go speeding. Whenever you speed, you have substantially less time to react and considerably less time to make the correct decision when it is critically called for.

To determine the safe following distance, use the two-second rule. This is done by choosing an object which the vehicle ahead passes by. At that exact moment, count "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two," if you pass by the object before you finished counting, you're following too closely. If the weather condition is not good, you should increase the count to four or five seconds.

Buckle Your Seat Belt. Image by Kenn Kiser.
Buckle Your Seat Belt. Image by Kenn Kiser. | Source

3. Do not drink and drive under any circumstance. Alcoholic drinks cause people to lose the ability to drive safely and alertly. Drunk drivers may also experience blurred vision, delayed reactions and reduced hand-eye coordination. Thus, it is the primary cause of motor vehicle accidents and injury every year. In the same way, do not let your peers who have been drinking to have the chance to take the car keys.

4. Always buckle your seat belt before starting the engine. Research says that teens buckle up far less often than adults do. In 2008, observed seat belt use among youngsters who are 16 to 24 year old is just 80%. In 2009, 56% of teens involved in fatal crashes were unbuckled.

5. Follow the Graduated Driver Licensing System. Because research shows that immaturity and inexperience are primary factors contributing to fatal teen crashes, a three-stage Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system was put in place in many states. The program hopes to reduce the high-risk exposure of beginner drivers. In this system, young drivers are required to demonstrate responsible driving at each stage before advancing to the next level. The 3 stages are identified by the type of license given: learner's permit, intermediate (provisional license) and full licensure.

No driving and texting.
No driving and texting. | Source

6. When you drive, focus on driving. Avoid distractions like cellphone talking or texting, too loud music and too disruptive passengers. Drivers who get distracted get into various car accidents.

7. This is for the parents: Parental responsibility. As parents who have kids who would be driving someday, you have to talk to your kids about traffic safety early and often even before they reach driving age. Model safe driving behavior every time you drive with your kids anywhere. And when they begin to drive, set rules which they need to follow in order to protect them from possible car accidents. Sample rules include absolutely no alcohol, always buckle up, no talking or texting while driving and setting the curfew by 10 pm.

Hopefully, by following these driving safety tips, less teens would be involved in fatal crashes and car accident injuries. I also hope by the time my kids are grown up teens and are driving, they will be safe following these driving safety tips.

A Funny Video About Teaching Your Teen to Drive Safely


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