According to the WHO (World Health Organization), more than 37,000 people die in road accidents in the United States every year. Of that number, about 8,000 people get killed because of drivers who are between the ages of 16 to 20.
While learning to drive is an essential rite of passage for most teenagers, driving can and is a dangerous activity. Here are some critical road safety tips that you, as a parent need to share with your teen’s:
Seat Belts First
Injuries from accidents go down by 45% when a person is wearing a seatbelt. The difference between life and death. Insist on your teen wearing a seat belt at all times, even if it is just a drive around the block.
No Using Mobiles While Driving
Using a mobile phone while driving has become one of the leading causes of car crashes today. Being distracted while driving not only puts your teen’s life in danger but also threatens the lives of those around him or her.
Stay within Speed Limits
Another big reason why teen drivers get involved in car accidents. Yes, the thrill of driving fast is out of this world, but following the law is more important. Speed limits are in place for a reason – safety.
By ensuring your teen drives within speed limits, it not only significantly reduces the change of an accident, but it also provides you do not get fined for breaking the law.
Check Blind Spots
Although there are side as well as rear view mirrors in a car, there are still a lot of blind spots where bikes, pedestrians, and other vehicles cannot be spotted. Which is why you need to teach the habit in your teen of checking their blind spots before driving.
No Drinking & Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol is the leading cause of accidents and death among teens. And such types of accidents lead to the involvement of DUI lawyers and lead to ugly and expensive lawsuits. The worst part, however, is the loss of life.
Sleep is Important!
We all talk about not drinking and driving, and not texting while driving, but another insidious danger to a teen (or, for that matter, anyone) driving is a lack of sleep.
A large number of accidents occur because a person is so fatigued that they lose focus on the road. If your teen is driving tired, let them know it’s okay for them to pull over and take a nap rather than push in that condition.
Use Your Headlights
Using your headlights during the night is a no brainer. However, did you know that there are also times in the day – sunrise and sunset – when visibility can be a challenge? If you have your headlights on at these times, then other drivers will be able to see you more clearly, which will reduce the chances of a car crash.
Take on Fewer Passengers
When your teen is learning to drive, having passengers in the car is not a good idea. It is best if he or she has learned how to drive confidently and has taught good driving habits before taking on too many passengers. When you have your friends on board, you tend to get carried away, and that is a sure way to get into an accident.
A teenager must learn how to drive, but it’s much more important that he or she learns how to drive responsibly. Once you are on the road, you are responsible not just for your safety, but for the protection of those around you too.