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If we could only keep them young and SAFE

Tips for Teen Drivers

Young drivers get into accidents often because of their inexperience. This fact is especially worrisome with back-to-school right around the corner.  Whether you have a first-time solo, 16-year-old driver or a college bound young adult, there are some things you can do to keep them safer on the road.

Though there is more to a young driving’s increased risk of a collision than just logging hours behind the wheel Distractions from mobile phone calls and texts have certainly been in the spotlight recently. Friends who “ride along” can cause driving interference that can also lend to unnecessary automobile accidents.  Combine this with an increase in night driving and driving while experiencing study and activity exhaust, and you can see why as a parent or guardian, there is a very just reason for increased worry.

But you may be surprised to learn that it’s not the young adult age group that logs the most accidents resulting in death. Drivers over 65 come in first place for the number of fatal car crashes annually. But, the 16 to 20 age group is close behind. Teens accounted for 7 percent of crash deaths in 2020. Young males 16 to 25 had more serious car accidents than other age groups of the same gender.  According to national car insurance companies, an average driver will get into an auto accident (one large enough to make a claim) once in every 18 years.  This means if you start driving at the age of 16, on average, you’ll experience three significant collisions in a lifetime. 

For every 1000 miles driven, the chances of getting into an accident is one in 366. Still, safetyinsurance.com tells us 43 percent of first year drivers are involved in some sort of car crash. That number does decrease over time, but only dips to 37 percent in the first 24 months of driving.  Cdc.gov says that auto accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths. They go on to mention that the 16-20 age group have more vehicle crashes than any other group.  Teens in this age group are nearly three times as likely to have an accident per mile driven. 

Here are some safe driving tips to for everyone – especially young drivers:

  1. Slow down! Speed limit signs are MAXIMUM speeds – not suggested speed. They don’t take into account the traffic, weather, driver’s comfort level, etc.
  2. Pay attention – put the phone down and scan your surroundings through your auto’s mirrors continually
  3. Don’t tailgate – your greatest chance for a collision will likely occur in front of you
  4. Be aware of what’s occurring 2 to 3 cars ahead of you – give yourself time to react
  5. Don’t think that it’s the “other driver’s” problem – you share the road just as you share the risks
  6. Just pull over if you encounter an aggressive or unsafe driver – just let them pass
  7. Adjust your driving habits for the conditions – rain, sleet, snow, fog, increased traffic volume, etc. should cause you to slow down and be even more cautious
  8. Keep your vehicle in top repair – let’s touch on this a bit more…

The most common auto issues that lead to car accidents include, faulty brakes, tire blow outs, improperly functioning steering and suspensions, malfunctioning headlights and taillights, windshield wipers not working properly or wipers needing replaced for clearer vision.

Trent Pickering of Pickering’s Auto Service tells us, “I’m a dad.  I worry constantly about my children.  And, although they are still young, I dread the day that they get the freedom offered by getting behind the wheel of a 4000-pound weapon. I’m in the automotive business so I know the hazards that can be caused by simple vehicle failures.  Things like tires with worn tread and lights not working correctly.  I urge everyone – not just parents of teens – to keep your vehicle healthy and up-to-date on routine maintenance and inspections.  It’s just one less worry you’ll need to think about.”

All good advice. But overall, the number one idea you need to instill at a very young age is this: ALWAYS wear your seat belt.  And, make your passengers do the same.  This simple action can decrease the risk of death and serious injuries by almost half.

Think safety first every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Find out if the car you or your teen is driving is safe. Ask Pickering’s Auto Service in Lakewood and Arvada, Colorado about their auto inspection services. 


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