For many teenagers, learning to drive is an important rite of passage. Having this license farther in their wallet opens the door to P-plate gain, and the freedom and progressive independence that comes with it.
But the statistics are realistic: teen drivers have the highest collision risk of any age group. Drivers between 17 and 25 years old represent only 10-15 percent of all licensed drivers, but they participate in one in every four road deaths in Australia. For example, a 17-year-old who has a P1 license is likely to be involved four times in a fatal collision of 26 years.
As a parent, you can play an active and decisive role in teen driving lessons. Here are nine road safety tips to share with your teenager to encourage him to become a better and safer driver.
1. Wear your seat belt
Insist that your teenage son always wear seat belts, even on short trips to stores. According to the Queensland Road Accidents and Safety Research Center, you are 10 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident if you are not wearing a seat belt.
Seat belts work because they distribute collision forces across the chest and pelvis, which are some of the most powerful parts of the body. So this belt can mean the difference between getting some bruising versus your body flying in the windshield.
2. Put the mobile phone away
Educated drivers and technicians are never allowed to use phones while driving. Physical, visual and cognitive distraction leads to unsafe driving and increases the chances of a collision. Before starting the car, ask the driver during training to turn off his phone and put it out of reach. If they need to use the phone, teach them to stop and stop, as using the mobile phone does not pose a danger to themselves or other road users.
According to the researchers, every time the driver writes and sends a message, his eyes are out of the way for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is enough time to push the length of the rugby field. Remind you are the teenager that it is his duty to see the road while driving, and no one else can do it on his behalf.
3. Adhere to the speed limit
Speed is the biggest killer of young drivers. Remind your teenager that there is no pressure to keep up with other vehicles in traffic. Adhering to speed speeds will not only reduce the risk of an accident but will also, help drivers avoid the expensive traffic fines that can affect car insurance premiums.
4. Check your blind spot every time
The side and rear mirrors do a good job of showing what’s happening behind the car. However, they still leave areas large enough to hide in cars, bicycles and other people. This is why drivers should check their blind points:
● Before withdrawing from the sidewalk
● Before parking or leaving a parked position
● Before and during a three-point turn
● Before merging with other traffic
● Before changing lanes (for example, when passing or overtaking)
● Before turning, I saw another car
It is a good idea to practice examining blind spots with your teenage son so that head movement on the shoulder becomes the second nature. It is also possible to reduce blind spot size by adjusting the side mirrors so that your vehicle is out of sight.
5. Don’t drive into someone else’s blind spot
Teenagers should be aware of their own blind spots, but also other compounds. If they drive alongside and slightly behind another car, you may not see that other car there. Your teenager must pull next to him or in front of him, or retreat until he can see the face of the other car mirrors.
6. Do not drink and drive
The issue of alcohol and drugs is easy to avoid, but turning a blind eye will not eliminate the problem. Australian law states that learners and license holders under test must have zero alcohol in the bloodstream while driving. This is because even small amounts of alcohol in the bloodstream affect the ability to drive, and increase the risk of a serious or fatal accident. It is better to make some expectations about drinking and driving in advance. Build a firm foundation and stick to it.
7. Sleep, then drive
Your teen might be smart enough not to drink and drive, but did you know that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving? Drowsiness impairs a person’s attention, working memory, and coordination skills, all of which are critical for safe driving.
According to road safety researcher Chris Watling, an estimated 15 percent of traffic accidents are caused by stressful driving. “Young drivers do not view the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drowsy driving on an equal footing, despite the risks of the collision, to be similar.”
Teach your teenager the warning signs of driving sleep. These include daydreaming, difficulty focusing, frequent flashing, heavy eyelids and difficulty lifting the head. He told them it was OK to stop for a nap for 20 minutes, then return to the road with greater comfort.
8. Turn on your headlights
Although it’s clear at night, turning on headlights during the day can make it easier for other drivers to see you. This can be especially useful during times when the sun affects visibility (for example, driving early in the morning or evening). “You cannot control other drivers on the road. However, by turning on the lights during the day, you can ensure that other drivers see you before the collision occurs,” says Cliff Matthew Wilson, a road safety activist.
9. Take fewer passengers
You worked hard to inculcate good driving habits in your teenager and to teach all the necessary driving lessons before they started getting friends in the car. But once they start taking passengers, they may be under pressure to drive differently than usual. This often means moving very quickly and making risky decisions. The best policy would be to limit the number of teenage passengers.
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