Teens learning how to drive face a unique set of obstacles. There is a lot to take in and apply when learning how to drive, and trying to put it all together can be challenging.
In addition, teen drivers have the highest percentage of accidents of all age groups. This could be for a number of reasons, including not having the experience needed to handle unexpected situations while driving, as well as distractions.
The following are some of the reasons your teen may not drive safely. These would be good things to bring up and discuss with your teen as he or she begins to drive.
Driving in the car with friends is perhaps one of the biggest reasons teens drive unsafely. It is fun to get together with friends, but a group of teens in the car can make driving very unsafe. Laughing and joking can distract the driver, and sometimes teens try and show off for friends by driving too fast, weaving in and out of traffic, and so forth.
If you have a teen who is driving out with friends, consider setting limits; for example, if your teen is going to be the one who drives, he or she can only have a certain number of people in the car, everyone must wear seatbelts, and so forth.
There have been a number of highly publicized incidents in the news lately concerning teens and cell phone use while driving. Sending text messages and talking on the phone is dangerous for anyone, but teenage use of cell phones combined with a lack of experience driving can be a lethal combination. A number of states are even adopting laws that restrict the use of cell phone by teens while driving.
You want your teen to have a cell phone in case of emergency, but teach your teen that if he or she needs to talk on the phone or send a text message, to pull over and talk or wait until they are parked. It is also a good idea to make sure your teen has a hands-free device as well.
If your teen is like most teens, they are often rushing around before school to get out the door on time. Sometimes, teens think they can just put on their make up in the car on the way to school as they drive. While this sounds outlandish, it’s actually pretty common – just look around the next time you are out driving and you’ll see rearview mirrors tilted so drivers can apply lipstick, put on mascara, and so forth. This is not safe driving. Make sure your teen knows that putting on make up and driving can be very dangerous.
While it may seem harmless to eat and drive, it’s best to avoid it as it can be unsafe. Driving with your knees while eating a bowl of cereal is a recipe for disaster. Encourage your teen not to eat in the car, as it can be distracting, particularly if he or she spills food or takes his or her eyes off the road to grab some food or unwrap something.
It is important that your teen learn early on what are and what are not safe driving habits. The above are just a few reasons that teens may drive unsafely.