The Most Common Driving Hazards and How to Keep Teens Safe
A shocking as it may be, the most recent studies suggest that driving is the leading risk when it comes to teen’s health, safety, and well-being. Parents who have teens who have received their license or tweens who may be preparing to take their test play a large role in keeping them safe behind the wheel. A lot of the hazards teens face while they are on the road can be directly impacted by their parents or guardians – here are the most common teen driving hazards and how you can keep your teen safe.
One of the biggest hazards that teens face is simply not having a ton of experience behind the wheel. Even if your teen has passed their driver’s test, it doesn’t mean they are an experienced, confident driver who knows how to handle every driving situation. One way to help build this experience is to spend time with your teen while they are driving –by doing this, you can help to continue to coach them on how to become a good driver who is also confident. Professionals suggest spending at the least the first six months of your teen’s driving life riding along with them during different times of the day.
Even though teens may roll their eyes when we warn them about the dangerous of distracted driving, the truth is that texting and driving is involved in almost one third of all teen driving accidents. When teens take their eyes off the road to send or receive a text, they often are driving the length of a football field without looking at the road, even for those few seconds. This is why it is imperative that parents stress to their teens how dangerous texting and driving and other distracted driving behaviors are.
Statistics show that nearly half of all the recorded crashes occur at night between the hours of 9 o’clock at night and 3 o’clock in the morning. Truthfully, unless the teen has a job or after school activity that keeps them out late, there is usually no reason for a teen driver to be on the road between these hours anyway. An easy way to protect your teen driver from the hazards of nighttime driving is to request, or make it a rule, that they must be home, or at the very least off, the road during these dangerous hours.
If you are uncomfortable teaching your teen or do not have the time, try using a professional driving school like Training Wheels for extended Behind the Wheel driving lessons for your teen. In reality, removing yourself for the picture may make it easier for your teen to receive an honest assessment of his or her driving skills. After several lessons, the instructor can offer you a plan of action on what your teen driver needs to work on before he or she can drive on his or her own.
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Photo Courtesy of Derek Hatfield via Creative Commons License