Category Archives: Teen Driviers

When we are the best teacher

October 16 to the 22nd is National Teen Driver Safety week. A variety of events have been held by a large number of organizations across the country with the primary focus on how we can improve driver safety for our most inexperienced drivers.

The National Teen Driver Safety week was established by Congress in 2007 to bring focus and awareness on the prevention of unnecessary teenage deaths on the road. Nearly 1,000,000 teens in the 11th grade, close to 20% of the total population of High School Juniors, indicated they had been in a motor vehicle accident last year, an alarming statistic given how disproportionate the numbers are to the rest of the driving population.

An area of focus is obviously distracted driving, in particular, texting while driving and the use of Graduated Licensing, to increase the age in which a young adult can obtain the driving privilege and do so without an adult present.

However, there is a critical element in any young drivers experience, the parents. What we do as adults, while our teens are preparing to learn to drive, while they are learning to drive and when they start driving, impact how our teens drive.

Some simple suggestions for being the best drivers ed teacher for your young driver:

Be the kind of driver you want your teen to be. The learn from us directly, so obey the speed limit, come to a complete stop, do not accelerate through yellow lights and most importantly, put the phone away. Your teenage learns from your mature driving behavior.

Practice driving with your teenager. More often than not, and if you talk with driver education professional instructors, they will tell you the teens they teach have never actually driven with their parents. Take time out of your busy day to spend time riding with your teen. Help them parallel park, educate them on proper maintenance and actually ride with them while they are preparing to take their driving test. The time you invest will be returned with the piece of mind knowing you taught your teen to drive.

Make it a habit to know who your teen is riding with and how many teens are in a vehicle. Teens learn a lot from their peers and if you do not know what they are driving like, you might not like the behaviors your teens learn from their peers. The more teens in a vehicle, the more apt they are to take risks and to be distracted, by their peers. Set boundaries related to the times your teen can be in a vehicle and the number of peers they are with.

Talk to your teens about the dangers associated with driving, watch the sad and morbid videos, (Faces of Distracted Driving is a great site) and take an online driver safety course together. Be involved in learning together, you might learn something you forgot.

Make every week your teens drive, a teen driver safety week. Actively involve yourself in your teens driving experience.

These are just a few tips which hopefully will help your teen be safe and you be proud of the mature driver you have created.

Have a safe weekend and fall!

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Teen Driving: Homecoming Safety Tips

As school gears back up, student activities are on the rise, and there are increased numbers of teen drivers behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Safety Administration , traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America, so both teens and other drivers need be especially cautious on the roadways. Homecoming is one of those special fall events that will have inexperienced teen drivers out on the roads en masse, so we have some tips that will help increase safety for your young drivers during this high risk driving times.

Ride in Style: Consider getting a limo or town car to transport your teen and his friends to the homecoming dance. This will take the pressure off the driver and allow everyone in the group (parents included) to have a worry free night. Because this can be expensive, ask other parents to split the cost and make it more reasonable.

Limit Passengers: If a teenage driver is behind the wheel, you should limit the other passengers to one. According to the Center for Disease Control , the presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers, and the risk goes up with more passengers in the vehicle.

Plan a Route: Ensure your teen is comfortable with the route to all homecoming events. You can practice driving a day or so ahead so they feel comfortable with the navigation, especially if it located somewhere they have never been before. Driving Skills for Life  recommends this high level of preparedness because passengers in the vehicle and excitement about the event can make it more difficult to focus on trying to follow a map or read road signs.

Slow Down: Encourage your teen driver to reduce their speeds while driving after dark as visibility can be greatly reduced during these times, and most events will be taking place in the evening and night hours.

Avoid Distractions: Setting a limit for passengers will help eliminate distractions during homecoming travel, but you need to set further guidelines for your teen driver to help create a safe driving environment. Encourage them to keep music at a reasonable volume, and pull over to the side of the road if they need to send a text message or take a call.

Have a Plan B: Always make sure your student leaves the house with a fully charged cell phone so they can call you in the event that they do not feel comfortable driving themselves home from an event. You should also program a couple of local cab company numbers into their cell phones in the event that you cannot be reached for a pick-up.

 

~R. Quick