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Nov

DRIVING SAFETY TIPS FOR TEENAGERS

Posted by andrewt

Blog#3

Anyone in car insurance will tell you, teenage drivers are the group at highest risk for accidents. Their natural propensity towards risk-taking combined with driving inexperience can have disastrous consequences. That’s why so many teenage drivers are killed on the UK’s roads every year.

Here are eight tips to share with teenagers and recently qualified drivers. They range from advice on the technical aspects of driving, such as safe cornering and how to adjust mirrors correctly, to things that they just don’t get taught when they’re learning to drive, such as driving’s psychological factors and having the right attitude behind the wheel.

We know that advice such as warning of the dangers of distracted driving and cutting down speed, may seem like a scratched record, but they need repeating as the statistics demonstrate that many teenagers are still not listening.

1.  ALWAYS STOW MOBILE DEVICES OUT OF REACH, NEVER USE THEM WHILST DRIVING:

This is probably the most important message we can give. Even after so many high-profile campaigns attempting to educate teenagers about the risks of distracted driving, according to studies, six out of ten crashes involving teen drivers are still caused by distracted driving.

We need to teach our teenage drivers to remove distractions by switching off all devices and putting them out of reach. Parents wanting 100% assurance that their teenage driver is not using their mobile when behind the wheel, an anti-distracted driving device may be the perfect solution.

Shareable tip: Turn off the phone when you’re driving and put it out of reach. (Tweet this!)

2. CORRECT CORNERING:

New drivers often misjudge corners, approaching them too quickly which, in a worse case scenario, can result in skidding off the road or even flipping their vehicle.

This simple rule of thumb about cornering should be explained to all inexperienced drivers:

Drivers should brake minimally, if at all, when driving around corners.  Safe drivers will use the brakes to slow their vehicle before the curve, when their wheels are straight. If you braking during a curve, it can cause traction loss, especially in damp or wet conditions, which is a dangerous situation for a new driver who may have little or no experience of how to handle a sliding vehicle. Correct cornering is especially important for inexperienced drivers who often panic and tend to overcorrect steering during a loss of traction, which makes the situation even more dangerous.

Shareable tip: Brake before a corner to reduce your speed, not while driving around it. (Tweet this!)

3. THERE IS A CORRECT WAY TO ADJUST YOUR MIRRORS:

Most inexperienced drivers don’t put much very thought into how their mirrors are adjusted. It’s possible to reduce and even eliminate blind spots at the rear and sides of most vehicles by making sure that mirrors are adjusted so that drivers have a view of the road and space behind and to the sides of their vehicle.

Ask a friend or a member of the family to walk around the vehicle while the driver monitors the side mirrors from the driver’s seat. This will helps identify blind spots so they can be minimised or even eliminated.

When it’s not possible to gain 100% visibility, drivers should remember the location of blind spots relative to the vehicle, and check them before every lane change.

Shareable tip: Drivers should adjust exterior mirrors to minimise blind spots, so they can see as much of the road and the space behind and to the sides of their vehicle. (Tweet This!)

4. DRIVE WITH CONSIDERATION OF THE PREVAILING CONDITIONS:

Another leading factor in accidents is the prevailing weather conditions and new drivers often experience problems while applying an “all weather” approach to driving.

Do you often have foggy mornings where you live? Are you in the Highlands with snowy winters? Is your home region prone rain showers or high winds? New drivers should get acquainted with common local weather hazards, and their effect on road safety. A safe, intuitive response to weather hazards is to slow down and increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front.

In areas susceptible to winter ice and snow, some extra information  about winter driving may be useful, especially as the correct  response to skidding can be counterintuitive.

Shareable tip: Slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front in any type of hazardous weather conditions. (Tweet this!)

5. SPEED DOES KILL:

TV shows and Movies aimed at teenagers – boys especially – all too often glorify fast driving, portraying it as cool and rebellious when, in actual fact it is anything but.

Excessive speed is one the most common causes of fatal accidents involving teenage drivers.  Like distracted driving, it’s also completely preventable.

While its probably a waste of breath to insist that teenage drivers must never, ever break the speed limit and expect them to always adhere to it, the speed limit is usually there for a reason and every mile per hour by which it is exceeded, adds to the risk.

In particular, when the weather conditions are hazardous, driving above the speed limit could be negligent and increase the risk to the driver and other road users exponentially.

Shareable tip: Fast driving isn’t cool. It’s Russian roulette on wheels. (Tweet this!)

6. REMEMBER THE 2-SECOND RULE AND DON’T TAILGATE:

There are two factors that determine stopping distance in good weather conditions: braking distance and reaction time.

Reaction time is the time it takes between recognising a hazard and taking the appropriate course of action, such as starting to brake. During this time, a car can easily travel 100 feet. The braking distance is the distance that a vehicle travels between depressing the brake and physically stopping. A simple test called the two-second rule helps drivers determine whether a safe distance is being maintained from the car in front.

It works like this:

  • Take a look along the road just ahead of the vehicle you are following for a marker, such as a road sign you can use as a reference point.
  • When the vehicle in front reaches the reference point, start counting seconds (“one one-thousand, two one-thousand…”) and see how long it takes your car to reach the same point.
  • If the point is reached before two seconds have passed, then you are following too close.

By using this rule, new drivers will learn to understand the safe following distance and recognize that safe drivers will always leave a sensible distance between them and the car in front so that they always have adequate time to stop.

Shareable tip: Learn the “Two Second Rule” to check you are maintaining a safe following distance when driving. (Tweet this!)

7. RELAX:

Aggressive driving creates a terrible risk-reward proposition. Driving too fast, weaving from lane to lane, driving too close to the vehicle in front, rushing to get through amber lights and other aggressive driving behaviour means driving at the limit, accelerating hard and braking hard. Shaving a minute off a journey’s driving time is a marginal gain for an exponential increase in the risk of having an accident.

Take it easy, relax, drive smoothly. You’ll get there a few seconds later but you’ll get there in one piece.

Shareable Tip: Minimise harsh acceleration and harsh braking to avoid accidents. (Tweet this!)

8. IT’S NEVER WORTH THE RISK OF DRIVING DRUNK OR HIGH :

None of the three possible outcomes of drink-driving or driving when high are good:

  • You create a false sense of security: Intoxicated drivers who are lucky enough to make it to their destination safely develop a false sense of security that makes them likely to repeat the dangerous behaviour.
  • A ‘Driving Under the Influence’ arrest: A DUI arrest is very serious and has costly implications which drivers have to live with for years.
  • An accident: The consequences of a DUI accident leaves the driver with a lifetime of regret – If they are lucky enough to survive.

As well as educating teenagers about the the risks of driving whilst intoxicated, parents can help their teenage drivers avoid the risk completely by providing alternative transport. For example, many responsible parents let new drivers in the family know that they can call home at any time to get a ride home, from anywhere, with no questions asked, or provide money for a taxi service.

Shareable Tip: Drink-driving incidents can be prevented by offering teenagers a ride home in any situation with no questions asked. (Tweet this!)

 

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Were you given any memorable advice as you learned to drive? Tell us your experiences share@cellcontrol.co.uk:

Cellcontrol is committed to saving lives and making roads safer. Learn how Cellcontrol can protect your family and reduce the top cause of teenage traffic accidents by securely deactivating distracting electronics so that they can never be turned on while driving.

 


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