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USED CARS HISTORY > AutoCheck > Teen Safety Tips

     

Safe Teen Driving Tips
There are many aspects to vehicle safety. Select a category to read safety tips on various subjects:

  • Buy A Solid Car
  • Be A Good Coach
  • No Passengers
  • Avoid Distractions
  • Buckle Up
  • Defensive Driving
  • Boys vs. Girls
  • Learner's Permits
  • Driving Agreement
  • 3 Second Rule
  • Practice Schedule
  • The Shock Of A Tap
  • Proper Use Of Mirrors
  • Driving Sessions
  • First Driving Session





  • Teen Safety Tips

    Tip #1: Make It Old, Solid and Bold back to top
    Shocking Stats
    In the last decade, over 68,000 teens have died in car crashes.

    Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers.

    Some parents may want to buy a brand new car for their teen's first vehicle, however, it may not be the best vehicle to learn in. If you must buy your teen a car, here are some tips...

    • OLD, LARGE and SOLID

    • Think classic station wagon or full-size sedan with a small engine

    • Check the vehicle's history to assure that it's a safe and reliable

    Parent's Tip: "Old, large and solid" may not be the words your teenager wants to hear, but they'll like them better than "take the bus."

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #2: Be a Winning Coach. Motivate Your Young Driver back to top
    Shocking Stats
    Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for 16-year olds.

    Taking on the role of driving coach and sharing years of experience may save your child's life.

    To be a successful teacher, you need to understand a few things about motivating a student during driving sessions...

    • Check frequently to ensure that your teen understands

    • Keep things moving by giving your instructions in real time

    • Point things out as they happen

    • Act more as the co-pilot than taskmaster

    • Keep an eye on the road ahead of you at all times

    Parent's Tip: Practice these tips in every driving session. And leave the whistle at home, coach!

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #3: Less is More - The Potential Catastrophe of Passengers back to top
    Shocking Stats
    Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers.

    65% of all teen passenger deaths occur when another teen is driving.

    Other teens in the car is one of the greatest risks...

    • Friends lead to excitement, distractions and peer pressure

    • Fatal crashes with teen drivers are more likely to involve passengers

    • Teens are less likely to wear seat belts when driving with other teens

    Parent's Tip: Teens plus teens in a car equals disaster. Just say "no" to passengers for the first year.

    Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Tip #4: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel to Avoid Distractions back to top
    Shocking Stats
    At 35 mph, a 2 second lapse in attention means you've traveled 100 feet without looking!

    Teens are much more likely to be distracted when traveling with other teens.

    There are all kinds of distractions that can take our eyes off the road. Here's a way to help maintain your attention:

    • Keep both hands on the wheel while driving

    • Don't talk on the phone without a hands-free accessory

    • Wait 'til the next stoplight to change that CD

    • Don't drive with passengers until you are more experienced

    Parent's Tip: Don't remind your teen of all the possible distractions. Instead, enforce keeping your hands on the wheel and you'll avoid most of the distractions that cause serious crashes.

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #5: Kissing the Windshield: Why Teens Don't Buckle Up back to top
    Shocking Stats
    Teens have the lowest seat belt use rate of all drivers.

    This rate becomes worse when there are other teens in the car.

    Most teens grew up riding in car seats, but today they aren't buckling up. So what gets young drivers and passengers to buckle up?

    • Linking belt use to graduated driving privileges

    • Making your teen pay any fines that they incur

    • Teaching by example - always wear your seatbelt

    • Exercising your parental authority

    Parent's Tip: Tell your kids to buckle up or walk. No negotiation. When they have kids, they'll understand!

    Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

    Tip #6: Defensive Driving for Teens back to top
    Shocking Stats
    During the first year of licensed driving, 1-in-5 male and about 1-in-10 female 16-year old drivers will have a crash.

    The first year of driving is a high-risk period especially for beginners starting at age 16. Inexperience, nervousness and lack of practical skills can lead to bad decisions behind the wheel. Create a home graduated licensing program with your licensed teen:

    • Continue to ride along and coach your teen even after they obtain a license.

    • Set a driving curfew (morning and night) to limit 'after dark' driving.
    • Monitor and limit your teens driving during inclement weather.
    • Restrict the number of passengers when your teen is driving.
    • Talk to your teen - find out what situations or techniques he/she has trouble with, then take them to a low-traffic location and have them practice with you in the car.

    Parent's Tip: Teach your teen to drive defensively -- anticipating conditions and situations that increase risk. Watch for poor driving habits like not signaling, sloppy turns, speeding, lack of alertness or overcorrecting.

    Source: Drivers.com

    Tip #7: Boys vs. Girls back to top
    Shocking Stats
    Males are more than twice as likely to have serious crashes as females. But while the crash total for males has been declining over the past 20 years, the total for females has been rising.

    More and more female drivers are taking to the roads as aggressively as males and paying a price for their risky behavior. Parents must teach both sons and daughters...

    • This is not a competition either of them wants to win

    Parent's Tip: "Anything you can do I can do better" is a phrase kids hear a lot growing up. Perhaps a better way to word that phrase should be "Anything you can do I can do safer."

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #8: Learner's Permit Required? back to top
    Shocking Stats
    Only 32 states require a learner's permit before a driver's license.
    Only 15 of those 32 require the permits to be held for a minimum length of time.

    States with the most lenient licensing procedures have the highest crash rates for teens. Whether your state has a strict licensing procedure or not, you should always:

    • Set your own waiting period for your teen

    • Pursue a driving instruction program outside the school

    • Log plenty of practice time with your teen before letting him or her take the driver's exam

    Parent's Tip: State laws and instruction are great ways to get your teen started on the road to safe driving, but what you do with and for your teen makes the most difference.

    Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

    Tip #9: Parent-Teen Driving Agreement back to top
    Quick Tip
    Don't forget: As the parent, you are the boss! Driving is a privilege-especially for teens. The parent giveth and the parent taketh away.

    To help your teen understand, take the time to review the issues and responsibilities associated with driving and consider making a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement using the outline below as a guide...

    • Issue - Curfew

    • Responsibility/Rule - Weekday evening curfew of 10 pm and a weekend evening curfew of midnight

    • Agreement - Coming home after the curfew will result in the curfew being set one hour earlier for one week

    Parent's Tip: Treat your teen with the same respect by allowing them some control over the rules of driving.

    Source: Teaching Your Teen To Drive Handbook, Virginia DMV

    Tip #10: We all need our space. The 3 second rule back to top
    Quick Tip
    Perception is about one second and time to react is about three-fourths of a second in ideal conditions.

    Allowing enough space between you and other cars on the road allows for time to react in case of an emergency.

    • As the car in front of you passes a fixed point like a sign, tree or building, count "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three". If you reach the designated point before three, slow down.

    • Increase your distance by one for each bad driving condition. For rain and fog you would add two seconds.

    • Make sure you drive in the middle of the lane to allow space on the side of the car.

    • If the driver behind you is too close, change lanes and let them pass.

    Parent's Tip: Let your teen know that adding additional space between cars will not slow down their travel time any more than a few minutes. Better to arrive a few minutes late than not at all!

    Source: Car Tips and More, Virginia Driver's Manual

    Tip #11: Making Time - Make it Count back to top
    Quick Tip
    Teaching Tip: Develop a practice schedule with your teen.

    Driving requires commitment and discipline - from both the student and the coach. The best way to demonstrate these traits is to establish a practice schedule and stick to it.

    • Commit to the 100 hours of supervised instruction (100 hours is only 2 hours/week for a year, or 4 hours/week for 6 months)

    • Make it routine--set aside a specific day and time for driving practice (Put it in your day-planner if you have to; this is an appointment for safety)

    • Go with the flow--when the lessons require driving at night or in bad weather, make adjustments

    Don't cancel, reschedule--when you have to work late or something else unexpected comes up, don't cancel your driving date, reschedule it.

    Parent's Tip: Demonstrate to your child that you are making this a firm commitment to their safety

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #12: Tapping the Wall back to top
    Quick Tip
    Teaching Tip: Have your teen tap the wall with the bumper of your car!

    Want to instill some respect in a young driver for the forces that can be unleashed in a crash? Here's a harmless way to do it - just be careful...

    • Make sure your vehicle doesn't have a fragile plastic license plate frame positioned in front of the bumper (If you have any doubts about the idea, or are worried about damage, don't try it. Or, you drive.)

    • You or your teen pull into a parking space that abuts a solid concrete wall

    • Stop, and then move forward slowly until the vehicle's front bumper contacts with the wall. Even at one mile an hour, the sensation will send a shiver through both of you

    Parent's Tip: Let them feel the shock of even the slightest bump; it will leave an imprint on your teen that will make them a safer driver.

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #13: Mirror, Mirror on the Car back to top
    Quick Tip
    Teaching Tip: Regular and proper use of mirrors is hard to learn but the pay off is big.

    Tunnel vision and blind spots can be a hazard to any driver but are particularly difficult for a new driver. Teach your teen how to minimize both...

    For the driver side mirror:

    • Have your teen roll up the window

    • Press his or her head against the glass

    • Then adjust the mirror so that they can just see the edge of the car

    For the passenger side mirror:

    • Have your teen place their head in the center of the car (directly behind the inside mirror mount)

    • Adjust the outside mirror so that they can just see the edge of the car.

    • This is necessary even with convex (curved) mirrors where the image is distorted a little

    Parent's Tip: Repeat that routine every time you and your teen begin a lesson to make blind spots virtually disappear.

    Source: National Motorists Association

    Tip #14: Driving Practice -- The Ultimate Video Game back to top
    Quick Tip
    Teaching Tip: Ten sessions driving is time well spent.

    If your teen can spend 10 hours getting hand-cramps from the latest video game, he or she can spend ten sessions meandering through your local countryside or back roads, to develop driving hand-eye coordination. Anytime visibility decreases, have your teen:

    • Slow down

    • Access the situation

    • If visibility is only 100 feet ahead, you should be doing no more than 35 MPH. If it's at 50 feet, it's 25 MPH, and so on.

    Parent's Tip: Build up to an hour or more per session. It will help your teen's mind and body become more accustomed to driving and build more confidence.

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

    Tip #15: Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Road? back to top
    Quick Tip
    Teaching Tip: Make it as simple at A,B,C. A Big, Clear parking lot.

    When you read, you begin with ABC. When you teach your teen to drive, begin with A Big Clear parking lot. A large, unoccupied parking lot can be found in a myriad of places:

    • An office building or complex after hours

    • A shopping mall early in the morning

    • A place of worship any weekday

    • A high school parking lot on weekends

    Parent's Tip: Try your own office parking lot after work. These lots offer plenty of space, and as a bonus, they probably have marked, defined areas to practice maneuverability techniques.

    Source: Safe Young Drivers, Phil Berardelli

     

     

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