Teen Driver Safety Month with Mercury Insurance
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 2,524 teen drivers and passengers were killed and 177,000 were injured in 2013. With mobile technology and the use of mobile apps steadily increasing, distracted driving accidents are on the rise.
As a mom to 3 future teenagers, this is an incredibly scary statistic. Austin is a rapidly growing community and with that comes more people on the roads, more distracted drivers, and more teens at risk. The whole thing can be a bit overwhelming, but fortunately there are some terrific resources available to help parents and teens when kids get behind the wheel. One such site was created by Mercury Insurance. Mercury’s Drive Safe Challenge, an interactive website, was created to provide teens with detailed safety instruction, as well as give parents tools to shape responsible driving behavior.
The “Mercury Insurance Drive Safe Challenge” Was Developed to Help Reduce, or Even Stop, Teen Driver Accidents and Deaths
The site features:
- Teen driving statistics
- Car-buying and insurance tips
- Informative road sign quizzes
- A driving contract parents and teens can sign to set the rules of the road and outline the circumstances under which driving privileges would be lost.
- A comprehensive break down of Graduated Driver’s License Laws by State
- The most affordable and safest vehicles for teens to insure
- Additional resources
Pay Attention and Make Smart Choices
We all need to make smart choices when we’re behind the wheel, because if we don’t there can be severe consequences. Distractions, drinking and driving, and even having passengers in the car can divert attention away from the road and that can lead to accidents and needless deaths.
Teens are especially susceptible, but the good news is that all of the causes of death listed below are preventable. We simply have to make it a priority to teach teen drivers that there are consequences to their actions. Take the time to teach teens how to make smart choices and provide good examples when they are passengers in your car.
Here’s How to Keep Teens Safe When Driving
There’s a lot to think about when teens begin to drive. Here are a few things you should consider when your teen gets behind the wheel.
Establish a Pre-start Car Routine – Before starting the car, adjust mirrors and driving position and be sure that everyone in the vehicle fastens their safety belts. Whether it’s perceived peer pressure or a feeling of invincibility, teenagers generally wear seat belts less than any other group. So make seatbelt use a priority and a condition that must be met for your teen to drive.
Practice. Practice. Practice. – Young drivers can never get too much practice, so let your teen drive as much as possible after getting a learner’s permit. If you’re going to the store, school, soccer practice or wherever, let your teen get behind the wheel with you in the car.
Keep Calm – Teaching your teen to drive can push even the most patient parents over the edge, but it’s very important to never overreact while your teen is driving. Studies have shown that an emotionally charged conversation compromises driving performance, reduces attention span and increases distraction.
Driving with Friends – Many states have provisional licensing laws, which means a driver’s privileges increases as they gain more years behind the wheel. If teens have a provisional license, which is in effect for the first 12 months of driving or until turning 18 (whichever comes first), they cannot carry other passengers unless they are over 20 years old and they are not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Does it work? Yes. Teen motor fatalities decreased 13% and at-fault rate of fatal accidents dropped 14%1 when California implemented a graduated driver licensing law, which applies to 16 and 17 year olds.
Don’t Drink & Drive – Let’s keep this simple. Drinking or getting high and driving is a death wish. Demand that your teen never drink and drive or ride with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs.
Talk to Your Teen While Driving – Take every opportunity to educate your teen while traveling together. Turn off the radio and talk about hazards you encounter.
Burgers, Instagram & Texting Can Wait – Driving requires complete focus and concentration, especially for new drivers. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Association study, teens 15 to 19 years old are involved in 11% of distracted driving crash fatalities.
Limit Nighttime Driving – Limit driving to daylight hours when teens first begin to drive. The nighttime accident rate for teen drivers is about three times as high as the daytime rate.