Honing Teens’ Skill Behind the Wheel
Although teens generally have better reaction times than older individuals, there are four times more likely to get into an auto accident than someone who has been driving for a longer period of time. One of the reasons that teens are more prone to auto accidents is because they simply have not developed the skills needed to be truly aware behind the wheel and do not necessarily know what to look for to stay safe on the road. Being safe while driving is much more than just the driver’s reaction time – safety while driving comes from learning to recognize and react to road hazards before they become accidents.
Practice Makes Perfect
One of the easiest ways for teens to practice safe driving is to truly practice. This does not mean getting behind the wheel with all their friends and heading to the mall three days a week – this means riding in the car with an experienced driver and learning what to look for while behind the wheel to help them avoid road hazards and accidents. Experienced drivers are a great resource for teens and continued practice, even after the teen has received their license, is a great way to continue to develop the skills they need to help them stay alert and protected while on the road.
Utilize Driving Simulators
While no parent wants to put their teen in danger, it is important for teens to know what to do when a road hazard arises. A safe way for teens to practice avoiding accidents is through a driving simulator. A great simulator that presents teens with different hazards is the Road Aware program provided by State Farm. This program helps teens to experience, recognize, and anticipate accidents hands on, helping them to better prepare for real-life hazards on the road. Road Aware also allows teens to make mistakes during the simulation and corrects the problems without putting the teen or anyone else in danger.
Just like any life skill, driving safely takes a lot of practice and instruction. While teens are generally required to have a certain number of practice hours, the training should not stop once they get their license. By having teens practice driving with an experienced adult and utilizing programs such as State Farm’s Road Aware driving simulator, teens can be better equipped to handle road hazards, anticipate possible accidents and be safe while out on the open road. So remember, practice makes perfect – developing teen road skills is the key to keeping them safe behind the wheel.