Teens are pretty new at driving and they are still learning from the driving experience. Below are some common mistakes that teens make that lead to car accidents.
1. Driving too fast:
Since teens are inexperienced, it is key for them to determine how long it takes to stop when necessary. Speeding makes it hard to determine how long it will take to stop when you are an inexperienced driver. Often, teens will compete with other drivers and drive faster because they think it is fun to do. This is risky behavior and can lead to accidents.
Eating, cell phone use (texting and phone calls), adjusting the radio all take attention away from the road and make it hard to evaluate your surroundings. We are in the technological age and kids are glued to their phones. This can lead to being distracted and not being aware of other drivers on the road.
Did you know that sending one text will take a teenagers eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, 4.6 seconds means that they will drive a length of a football field before looking up again. That is a large amount of real estate covered and when driving at such a speed, there can be a lot of damage done f there is a car accident.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of death to teens.
3. Teens take unnecessary risks:
Some of the most common things teenagers take risks on are:
* Not checking their blind spots
* Not using a turn signals
* Driving while intoxicated
* Goofing around while driving
4. Not keeping a proper distance from the cars ahead
Teens often overestimate their ability to stop their cars in time. Teenagers have quick reflexes, but even the quickest reflexes don’t always work if you are too close to the car in front of you.
5. Not wearing a seat belt:
Seat belts are mandatory in California while driving and have been proven to decrease injuries when getting into a car accident. Teens sometimes don’t think they will get into a car accident or think it is not “cool” to wear one and they take unnecessary risks when deciding not to wear a seat belt. Also, not wearing a seat belt can result in a large fine so it is not worth it!
6. Driving when tired:
Driving while tired delays reaction time, decreases mental awareness and can result in accidents. It has also been shown to be worse than driving while intoxicated. It is very serious and can lead to accidents which can not only hurt the tired driver, but anyone they may hit as a result. If tired, pull to the side of the road and rest until you feel okay to get behind the wheel.
7. Teen passengers:
Passengers can distract you, I remember being a teen in a car and we would drive and sing to songs and goof around in the car. Passengers not only distract you but in some instances, a teen driver will drive more aggressively taking chances all in the name of fun.
It is hard to convince a teen about the seriousness of driving. Often, teens feel like they are good drivers and are not aware of the risks they are taking until they are in an accident. Parents, please talk to your teen about some of the risks so they are aware and will think twice about making the common mistakes in this article.
Good luck, and safe driving!