The most significant cause of death among teenagers (ages 15 to 19) in the United States is motor vehicle accidents.
The most common cause of these accidents is texting while driving.
Our Highway Hero Driving Academy staff is publishing this post to help prevent teenagers from being dangerous drivers on the road. As they settle back into school, share this safety advice with teenagers:
#1 Practice Makes Perfect
One of the leading causes of car accidents is inexperienced driving. The first year of an adolescent's driving experience is the most likely time they may have a collision. The more the teens practice, the safer they'll be on the road. Learn to drive at all hours of the day, in all forms of weather and traffic, and on various types of roadways. Driving, like riding, begins with practice, much like a child learning to ride a bike with training wheels.
#2 Avoid Texting While Driving
Distracted driving is most often caused by texting while driving.
You're not only removing your hands from the wheel and your eyes from the road but also your focus from the task at hand. Driving is stressful enough without having to deal with distractions like a phone.
#3 Always Use A Seatbelt
Seat belts may reduce the risk of severe injury or death by half.
Adults use their seatbelts significantly more often than teenagers. It is, however, the only way to ensure your and your passengers' safety. Every time you get into your car, the first thing you should do is buckle up. There is no cost to using a seat belt, yet failing to do so may result in severe injury or death.
#4 Passengers Should Be Limited To One
When many people are in the vehicle, a teen's unsafe driving conduct increases by three times. Students who ride with other students have an even greater chance of being in a collision. Friends may be a source of diversion, but they can also lead to greater risk-taking because of social pressure. For the teen's safety, keep the number of people in the car minimum.
#5 Don't Drink While Driving
Although it is against the rules for teens to consume alcoholic beverages, young drivers are involved in many alcohol-related car accidents each year. Over a fifth of young drivers involved in fatal collisions in 2013 had consumed alcohol. Drinking alcohol before age 21 is banned, and driving while intoxicated is a bad idea at any time. Make sure you have a designated driver in case things go sour.
#6 Avoid Driving At Night Unless It Is Absolutely Necessary
Crash fatalities among teenagers are most common between 6 pm and 6 am. A combination of reduced sight, decreased reaction time, and exhaustion is to blame. Many students drive themselves to their extracurricular activities after school - in the fall, it gets dark early, and students should be careful.
#7 Slow Down A Little
The risk of injuries in a car accident skyrockets when you drive too fast. More than a third of all fatal crashes in the United States have been caused by speeding since 2005. For young drivers, speeding is a significant concern, particularly in bad weather or road conditions. The distance it takes you to stop quadruples every time you speed up by two times. Highway Hero Driving Academy suggests you reduce your speed and always drive within the recommended limits.
So, what are some other ways we can keep our teens safe while driving? Let us know in the comment below!