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Parents tend to worry about their teens when they start driving on their own, but thankfully there are ways to help mom and dad keep an eye on their kids and ensure they’re driving safely and responsibly.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens aged 16 to 19, but which State is the safest for young drivers trying to hone their craft?
Most teenage drivers know about dangerous behaviors behind the wheel, and yet many still admit to partaking in them.
It’s a commonly held belief that young people are not interested in cars. As the narrative goes, they’d rather rely on public transportation and play with their iPhones than drive. But a new study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute tells a different story.
Unlike in the past, the majority of teenagers in the U.S. put off getting a driver’s license.
Automobile insurance for a teen driver isn’t cheap, that’s nothing new. But did you know that putting your young one on the family policy can double your monthly premium?
Despite the fact that the number of 16 and 17 year old driver deaths is at a low point compared to the last decade, the first half of 2012 experienced a spike in teenagers dying behind the wheel.
A recent report has shown that younger drivers are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, as one in seven drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have fallen asleep at least once while driving during the past year.
A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that most car accidents that occur because a driver mistakenly hits the gas pedal instead of the brakes involve older female drivers in parking lots.
Apparently, almost two-thirds of drivers involved in this type of accident were female, and occurred more frequently with drivers over the age of 76 and under the age of 20. But guys, you aren’t off the hook – when looking at all types of crashes, 60 percent of drivers involved are male.
Graduation season is almost upon us. We know that safe driving is probably one of the last things on a kid’s mind as summer approaches. But it’s also a time when teens are faced with the risks associated with impaired, reckless and distracted driving.
Just like Mercedes-Benz’s Driving Academy, Ford offers its Driving Skills for Life programs that address the life-endangering risks that teen drivers face on the road. “This a time of year when many teens request, and parents provide, expanded driving privileges,” said Jim Graham, manager of Ford Driving Skills for Life. “Unfortunately, safety can take a back seat to the excitement associated with the many celebrations around prom and graduation.”
Deaths among teem drivers increased for the first time in eight years last year, despite the fact that total motor vehicle deaths have declined.
According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 16- to 17-year-old driver deaths increased from 190 to 211 based on preliminary data supplied by all 50 states for the first six months of 2011. That’s an increase of 11-percent and if the trend continues for the second half of 2011, it will end eight straight years of declines within that age group.
16-year-old drivers’ deaths increased 16-percent from 80 to 93, while 17-year-olds went up 7-percent from 110 to 118. While some states reported increases and others reported decreases, and some even reported no change, Florida, California, and North Carolina had significant increases in teenage driving-related deaths.
Dr. Allan Williams, a researcher who formerly served as chief scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, believes some of the increase is a result of a leveling off from the benefits we experienced with the state Graduated Driver Licensing laws. He also speculated that with improving economic conditions, more teenagers are getting behind the wheel of cars.
Obviously this raises concerns and further educating teenager drivers could be a solution, but Williams agrees that more work could be done to save teenage lives. It will be interesting to see what the report says with the data accumulated from the last half of 2011.
Peer pressure has a huge affect on teens. Smoking, drinking… even getting into a car accident.
According to two studies by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, peer pressure from passengers can result in a car accident when a teen is behind the wheel. We know, it seems like a “duh, of course” kind of conclusion… did we really need a study to tell us that? But what researchers can now prove with studies like these is how peer pressures increases a teen driver’s crash risk.
“These studies help us understand the factors that may predispose teens to drive with multiple friends and how those passengers may contribute to crashes by distracting the driver and promoting risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating or weaving,” said Allison Curry, a study author. “Knowing this, we can develop programs that work in tandem with current graduated driver licensing laws that limit the number of passengers for teens during their first year of driving.”
In the first study, researchers found that the teens drivers that were most likely to drive with multiple passengers considered themselves thrill seekers and shared similar characteristics that would increase the likelihood of a car accident. The second study looked at teens involved in serious crashes, and drivers that had peer passengers were more likely to be distracted just before a crash.
In terms of male and female peer pressure driving habits, males that drove with passengers were about six times more likely to impress their friends by pulling illegal driving stunts and were twice as likely to drive aggressively just before a crash. Females, on the other hand, hardly ever drive aggressively prior to a crash – and that’s with or without passengers.
Just when an earlier study suggested that teenagers today prefer owning smartphones and electronic devices over owning a car, a local study by news channel Sacramento News10 revealed that there is a resurgence of manual transmission automobiles for young drivers.
Worried about teen drivers texting and driving, parents have started a trend of purchasing stick shift vehicles for their teens in hopes to keep them focused on the task at hand rather than diverting their attention away from the road. The DMV also provides useful stick shift tips for first time drivers including “don’t panic.” News10 started a discussion via Facebook on the resurgence of manual transmission vehicles and viewers have responded positively. One perk stick shift owners said they enjoyed was the better fuel efficiency their vehicle can achieve.
While manual transmission vehicles have remained popular in Europe and Asia, its market in North America has shrunk to approximately 5.5 percent, a number likely made up of mostly driving enthusiasts. If the appreciation of manual transmission vehicles are rekindled within younger drivers, then not only would more Americans pay attention when they are driving, but perhaps the joy of driving might be rediscovered as well. Show your support and join other drivers in the “hang up and drive” movement here at News10.net.
Allstate Insurance and the National Safety Council put together a report suggesting that an estimated 2,000 teen lives and $13.6 billion could be saved each year if all states enforce a comprehensive graduated driver licensing program (GDL).
While GDL programs are officiated in all 50 states, earning a driver’s license in some states are more demanding than others. States with stronger GDL programs have 38 percent fewer fatal crashes with young drivers than states with elementary GDL. In Iowa, for example, a teenager is allowed to gain a learner’s permit at the age of 14, and begin driving without restriction at age 17. In New York, teenagers must wait until their 16th birthday.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the recommended outline for a GDL program will set the minimum age for a learner’s permit at age 16. The learner stage must last a minimum of 6 months, wherein the teenager gains from 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving experience. The intermediate stage should last until 18 years old and include a ban on night driving as well as passenger restrictions.
Allstate and the National Safety Council’s report is timed very closely with the Congress’ consideration to reauthorize highway and infrastructure budget spending, which includes health and safety measures. A push for a standard GDL program across the country can better prepare young drivers.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
It can be a nerve-racking time when your teen wants to get behind the wheel of the car. There are things you can do to make sure your young driver is prepared before they go solo. Consider these tips when teaching your teen how to drive:
• The right way to drive: Go over all of the car’s features while driving, but make sure to do it in a safe area. For example, instruct your teen on how to properly use antilock brakes in an empty parking lot.
• Go over the risks: This is no time to be brief. Talk to your teen about the importance of yielding, slowing down in school zones and coming to a complete stop at stop signs.
• Always learning: The learning should never stop. When driving with your teen, be sure to critique their skills, even when they get their licence.
• Peer pressure: Your teen’s friend may pressure them into unsafe driving habits. Let your young driver know that they should speak up if they feel unsafe driving with a friend.
• Know your state requirements: Not all states have the same driving requirements. Go over your state’s driving requirements with your teen and the restrictions placed on their driver’s licence.
• The most important influence – you: You may not realize it, but your teen is watching you drive and is picking up on your good and bad driving habits. You should practice what you preach and set a good driving example.
Ford has just released the Do Not Disturb feature, a new technology that lets parents limit distracted driving habits teens are tempted with.
The new Ford MyKey Do Not Disturb feature allows parents to block their teens from receiving phone calls and text messages while driving. This means that young drivers can keep their eyes on the road instead of on their cell phones. The Do Not Disturb feature saves incoming calls and texts, so teens can check them after they stop the car.
This new Do Not Disturb feature adds another safety element to Ford’s programmable MyKey, which limit a vehicle’s top speed to 80mph and reduces the audio volume. Not only that, but this feature reminds drivers to use a seatbelt, provides earlier low-fuel warnings and can be set to sound chimes between 45 and 70mph.
“MyKey adds a new dimension to auto safety by giving drivers standard technology that encourages safer driving and limits their exposure to risk, regardless of age or experience,” said Peter Patzelt, Ford system architect for MyKey. “MyKey can give parents peace of mind when they hand car keys over to their kids, and ‘Do Not Disturb’ enables parents to control another risk factor when their child gets behind the wheel.”
The MyKey function will be available next year on the Ford Fiesta, and will later be available on other Ford car models.
Parents, if you want to set a good example for your teens while you’re teaching them how to drive, put down your cell phone. A new study out says that parents are prone to check their phones while teaching driving skills.
This study, which was conducted by State Farm, surveyed 517 teens and their parents to find out how teens learn to drive. The study found that 61 percent of teens say their parents have been distracted by their phone at least once while teaching them to drive. It goes on to say that 29 percent of teens say their parents have been distracted sometimes, often, or all the time while giving the driving lesson.
When talking to the parents, 53 percent of them admit to being distracted at least once while teaching their teens how to drive. And disagreeing with what their teens said,only 17 percent of parents say that they are distracted sometimes, often, or all the time.
When it’s the parent’s turn to drive, 54 percent of teens say they have seen parents talk while driving either sometimes, often, or all the time, while 43 percent of parents admit to doing it with their teens present.
Other interesting numbers to come out of this study include that 24 percent of parents and 30 percent of teens say they aren’t spending enough time learning how to drive. Teens need about 100 hours of driving practice before taking the car out on their own, and parents need to practice what they preach – which means paying complete attention to what their teen driver is doing behind the wheel.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Here are some sobering study results that may shock parents – teen drivers are most likely to cause a car accident within their first month of unsupervised driving.
The study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that teenage drivers are 50 percent more likely to get into a car crash in their first month of driving than after a year of driving by themselves. It also goes on to show that these drivers are twice as likely to get into an accident during the first month than after two years of driving experience.
To compile this information, AAA mounted cameras in the cars of 38 teenage drivers in North Carolina. Footage followed teen drivers as they learned to drive with their parents as well as their first six months of driving solo.
From the data collected, 57 percent of the accidents that were caused in the first month of driving happened because teens were driving too fast, weren’t paying attention, or failed to yield to other cars. Researchers also found that in the first few months of driving, teens got into quite a few left-hand turn crashes while trying to navigate across traffic, which suggests that young drivers could use more practice with it comes to certain driving maneuvers.
After driving with their parents, the footage showed that the teen drivers’ driving behavior changed drastically. While they had their learner’s permits, teens stuck to the same routes, but once they got their full licences, these drivers started taking new routes and displaying bad driving habits such as texting, running red lights, or socializing with passengers.
[Source: Motor Trend]
What do teens know about car maintenance and safety? Bendix Brakes took to the streets to find out and as it turns out, teens don’t know much about these subjects.
Bendix Brakes decided to put together a few fun videos aimed at educating teen drivers about the cars they’re driving. This comes after the company commissioned a study that found than 30 percent of parents reported that their teen drivers had a roadside breakdown by the time they reached 19. The study goes on to say that one in four of these parents say their teens don’t care how their car works, as long as it works.
The result is an online campaign titles “Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety.” This video series is meant to educate both teens and parents about safe driving habits and keeping their vehicles properly maintained. You can find them on Bendix’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and although there are only two available right now, more are scheduled to follow. The first features real responses from teens on the street about car components, while the second video shows the top five car care tips for young drivers.
Watch the video that showcases real responses from teens after the jump.
Your teenager just got their license and you’re a little worried about where they are going with your car. You can keep an eye on them – and your car – with iTeen365.
A GPS system that tracks your car and your teen, the iTeen365 needs to be professionally installed in your vehicle. Once that’s taken care of, you just set up a geofence online, and watch where your teen is going. You can watch your vehicle online at the iTeen365 website with your user account.
This account will save up to four months of detailed driving reports, including information regarding where your car has been and if your teen stayed within the speed limits. If you can’t be logged on to your account 24/7, you can get text or email alerts when your car leaves or enters specified zones.
If you’re worried about your teen messing around with the system, don’t be – the iTeen365 device is hard-wired into the vehicle’s ignition column and battery, and is mounted behind the dash. The system costs $289, plus an installation cost of about $65. If you want to get it removed, that will cost extra. On top of that, concerned parents have to pay a month cost, which ranges from $17.95 to $21.95 per month for services, depending on the length of the contract.
If you trust you teen, but are a little worried about all those late night meetings your husband or wife has been having, you can always go with the iSpouse365, which the company describes as being the cheaper alternative to hiring a private detective. The company has a range of products so you can keep track of all the drivers in your life – you can check them out on the iTeen365 website. And be sure to check out the promotional video after the jump.
What do you think? Are we treading to far into “Big Brother” zone or should we keep a close eye on our teens to make sure they aren’t getting into trouble? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Depressed teenagers are more likely to cause accidents than those who aren’t, according to a study from the journal Injury Prevention.
The aptly-named journal found that among already-risky teenage drivers, those who are depressed are more likely to speed and not wear seat belts, which journal authors believed was a translation of self-destructive behaviors (underage drinking, unprotected sex, smoking) into the realm of driving. Those at risk of mental distress are more likely to “engage in dangerous driving activity,” according to the study.
Over one thousand young drivers were surveyed for this report, as conducted by the Center for Accident Research and Road Safety at Australia’s Queensland University. They believe that a psychological survey designed to screen young drivers for signs of depression could prevent them from obtaining driver’s licenses, thereby minimizing the risk of dangerous driving on the roads.
Problem is, the researchers haven’t exactly determined what this “risky behavior” is—plenty of people admit to speeding, after all, and this narrow definition doesn’t include more dangerous and distracting activities such as using a cell phone. The report leans heavily on self-reported behavior and not concrete, clinical analysis, which could skew results. More work is needed to make a conclusion—but either way, Dashboard Confessional is a band, rather than an activity to partake in while driving.
You worry about your teen while their driving, and rightfully so. A recent study has found that several “critical errors” are often one of the last in a chain of events leading up to a crash. And of these crashes, 75 percent were caused due to a critical teen driver error and three common errors were the cause of about 50 percent of all serious crashes.
The study, conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm Insurance, found that teens are involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adults. So what are these critical errors that are cited as reasons leading up to a serious crash? About 21 percent of these accidents happened because of a lack of scanning to detect and respond to hazards; another 21 percent because these drivers were going too fast for road conditions; and 20 percent occurred because the driver was distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle.
Many people believe that aggressive driving or thrill-seeking are the cause of most teen accidents, but researchers found that this was not the case. They noted that environmental conditions, such as poor weather, vehicle malfunction, aggressive driving or physical impairments such as drowsy driving were not the main reasons for teenage accidents.
Before you wrap your teen in bubble wrap and bury the car keys in the backyard, you can take some consolation that you can help prevent these errors from happening by teaching young drivers the proper skills during parent-child driving training. Be sure to teach your teen drivers to scan the road in the distance and anticipate future events on the road so they’ll be able to detect and respond to a hazard in time.