January is Teen Driving Awareness Month
January not only brings in a new year, but it also brings in teenagers who return to school with a license and a car and the teenagers are eager to attend all of their exciting upcoming events, such as spring break, prom and graduation. For this reason, January is recognized as Teen Driving Awareness month.
Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2012, the number of reported vehicle accidents increased between the hours of 3:00pm to 6pm. The times coincide with the peak hours of traffic and the time that most schools release their students. For inexperienced drivers, like teenagers, this can be a dangerous time to drive.
Each year in the US, close to 100,000 teenagers get their drivers licenses. Almost 300,000 teenagers are treated for car- accident injuries each year, and sadly about 2,500 die. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths in the nation.
Here are a few tips provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help keep your teen safe behind the wheel.
- Avoid texting- keep your cell phone off and avoid using your phone while driving. Even Bluetooth or “texting while stopped” can be dangerous and prove to be a distraction. If you need to make a call pull over in a safe place or parking lot.
- Follow the speed limit- According to the DMV, Speeding causes 40% of all teen fatalities. Even when other cars are speeding by, continue to follow the speed limits.
- Solo is the way to go- adding passengers to your car brings added pressure as well as distraction to a new driver.
- Avoid Night Driving- The late hours of 11pm-2am are especially dangerous. Many drivers at this type are drowsy or impaired. It is a good idea to talk to your parents about having specific driving curfews. Driving at night with little (or no) experience puts you and others at risk. If you want to go to a nighttime event or spend time with friends, work with your parents to come up with a solution.
- Be a defensive driver. Use the skills you were taught by your parents and your Drivers Education Course. Don’t become a lazy driver and let the simple things slip away. Always use your turn signals, check your blind spot when changing lanes, and come to a full stop at stop signs. Pay attention to other cars on the road and learn to anticipate what other cars will do. Being aware of other cars around you will make you a better driver.
We are an independent agency located in Mansfield, TX and would love to discuss any questions you may have.