For youngsters, being behind the wheel without an over-anxious father bombarding them with a barrage of safe-driving tips is an adrenaline-pumping adventure that they cannot wait to experience. However, for parents this may mean higher BP, sleepless nights and may be receding hairline. You can hardly blame them – in 2013, car accidents claimed the lives of 2,865 teenagers. Approximately 380,000 were injured. If you happen to live in one of the popular tourist destinations, you have more reasons to worry, as high-traffic roads of these tourist-crammed cities record an even higher occurrence of accidents. Take Tampa for example. There has been a steep rise in the teenage car accidents in Tampa, Fl. According to the surveys made by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, young drivers are typically prone to make certain mistakes. The traffic safety organization recommends that parents should educate their teenage children on the risks of committing these common mistakes. We have summed up a few tips here that would keep your teen safe on the road:
Make him Wear a Seat Belt
Not wearing a seat belt is one of the leading causes of death among teenage drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 50 percent of teenage drivers died because they were not wearing seat belts. Wearing seat belts can significantly reduce your child’s odds of getting hurt or killed in a car accident. So convince him to wear one while driving.
Prevent Him from Driving Too Fast
Tendency to speed is a big issue with teenage driving. In a 2015 study, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed the patterns of car crashes involving teenagers. The survey considered as many as 1,700 video footages involving teenage car crashes, and the findings were very enlightening. It found that at least 79 percent of the single-vehicle crashes occurred because the teens were speeding. Make the young ones understand that speeding is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous. Driving at an abnormally high speed increases the odds of losing control of the vehicle. Why show off when your life is at stake?
Stop him from Following Too Closely
Youngsters are always in a hurry – be it starting or breaking relationships, or maintaining a safe distance between cars, teenagers typically prefer to strike out the word ‘patience’ from their personal dictionaries. Emphasize on the importance of practicing the four-second rule, while driving on busy roads. Allowing adequate following space between cars can be a lifesaver for your child.
Warn him against Distractions
Distracted driving was one of the vital factors in almost 60 percent of the teenage accidents that took place in 2015. Cell phone use was identified as the commonest cause of distraction. Interaction with other passengers was also identified as a dangerous habit. The survey brought attention to another extremely dangerous practice – texting while driving. Before handing over the key to your teenage son, make it clear that the use of cell phone while driving may mean an end to his newly acquired freedom. Bring his attention to Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association’s simple yet hard-hitting message, “On the road, off the phone.” Most importantly, set an example – practice safe driving behaviors yourself by not using cell phones while driving.
In majority cases, it is the teens’ lack of experience that is to be blamed for fatal car crashes. Teenage car accidents are rising in Tampa, Fl, and other crowded tourist destinations. This has made both administrations and not-for- profit road safety organizations to launch various awareness programs for both teens and their parents. Remember, you are the best guide when it comes to teaching your young son or daughter. Therefore, plan as many driving sessions with your teen as possible before and after handing over the key. After all, these outings will be a perfect excuse for you to spend some quality time with your grown-up kids and steal a glimpse into their world.