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Top Ten Tips PDF Print E-mail

1. Adjust Your Attitude!

Many teens think they are invincible - a dangerous attitude for inexperienced drivers. Don't drive when you are experiencing significant emotional highs or lows. Being courteous can also save your life. Remember the old adage, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

2. Slow Down!

Driving too fast for the conditions or in excess of the posted speed limit is the second most common factor in teen driving fatalities. Many crashes can be survived if excessive speed is not part of the equation. 67% of teens surveyed say they speed on a regular basis.

3. Buckle Up!

Seat belts are one of your best defences against serious injury or death in a collision. 63% of teens killed in car collisions were not wearing their seat belts. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study in the United States revealed that male teens were much less likely to wear their seat belts than female teens. 7.7% of male teens said they rarely or never wore their seat belts compared to 2.8 % of girls.

4. Limit Distractions!

Distractions or lack of attention behind the wheel is the fourth leading factor in teen fatalities. Distractions come from many sources: Cell phones, changing the radio station, putting in a CD, applying makeup, or drinking a cool drink can all cause you to loose focus.

5. Restrict Passengers!

Another deadly distraction comes in the form of people. Your best friend, boyfriend or girlfriend may be the most dangerous distraction around. In 2002, 61% of teen passenger deaths occurred when another teenager was driving. Teens are two times more likely to die in a car crash with only one passenger. With two or more passengers, the risk increases five times.

6. Back Off!

The average teenager does not realize they are tailgating. The best defensive driving programs in the nation suggest a 4 second following distance in daylight with good weather. At night or on slippery roads, this distance should be increased. These few seconds can make the difference between life and death. When the car in front of you passes a mark on the road - a sign, a shadow or fixed object - begin counting one, One-One-Thousand, Two-One-Thousand, Three-One-Thousand, Four-one-thousand. If your car passes the point you just referenced before you reach Four-One-Thousand, you are too close!

7. Limit Night Driving!

41% of teen motor vehicle deaths occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. In some States in America   a new driver is not allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. without a licensed driver who is 21 years or older.

8. Two Hands on the Wheel!

You won't find racing drivers with only one hand on the wheel during a race because they know they can't control their cars in an emergency with one hand. Hand position on the steering wheel is also critical. The best defensive driving programs teach students to keep their hands at the 9 and 3 locations. These hand positions give you the greatest control and manoeuvrability in an emergency. This also means no burgers, sodas, coffee or cigarettes while driving! .

9. Drive a Safe Car!

Since teens are 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash than adults, shouldn't they be driving the safest cars? The problem is teens usually don't think about choosing a safe car or think they can't afford to buy one. Find out as well if the car you're driving has a number star safety rating for front, offset and side impacts. Stay away from SUV's - They have a high roll-over risk.

10. Drugs and Alcohol Kill Teens!

In 2003, 28% of teens who died in car collisions were intoxicated. 77% of the teens who died in those collisions while intoxicated were not wearing their seat belts. Despite the fact that it's illegal for teens to have alcohol or illicit drug in their system, the number of teens drinking and getting high continues to grow. Parents: Have you ever considered making your teen take a breathalyzer test when they come home at night? It could save their lives!

11. Anatomy of a Teen Crash.

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Have a look at our interactive presentation


Which cars are safest for young drivers?

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