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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.
A new study says that parents are even more important then ever when it comes to teaching their teens to drive. The report goes on to state that parents are not giving their teenagers enough experience behind the wheel before they get their license, especially in challenging situations – this includes driving in bad weather, at night, on highways or in heavy traffic.
In the study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly half of parents reported that after the yearlong learner’s stage, there was at least one condition that they were not comfortable letting their teenagers to drive in on their own. Even though this was reported to be the case, more than one-third of parents still allowed their teens to get licenses within a month of being eligible.
In the U.S., teenagers have the highest crash rate of any age group. It has been found that the most dangerous time is when they drive on their own during the first few years after being licensed.
“The goal is to get people to realize how serious a situation it is,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the foundation, a non-profit research and educational organization.
The study, which was conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, was based on analysis of driving patterns of 50 families in North Carolina. During this study, cameras were installed in their vehicles for four months right after the teenagers obtained their learner permits. During the yearlong period, parents were interviewed 10 times.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there had been little scientific research on what parents actually do while supervising their teen’s driving. Thanks to this study, they found that most common form of parental instruction (in 54 percent of the clips), had to do with the handling the vehicle (“you need to slow down”). These instructions were often stressful and emotionally charged. Instructions such as visual scanning or anticipating the actions of other driver, was found in just 5 percent of clips.
[Source: The New York Times]
You look at the survey headline: “86 Percent Of Teen Drivers Are Distracted.” Of course, you go right to the evils of the cell phone – talking, texting, sending and reading email – or using advanced in-car features. Results from a survey conducted by AAA and Seventeen magazine found that 86 percent of those polled drove distracted – but they consider adjusting the radio and eating in the car as distractions.
In its survey of 2,000 drivers ages 16-19, the two distractions that teens engaged in most were adjusting the radio (73 percent) and eating (61 percent). Coming in third was talking on a cell phone ( 60 percent).
Cell phone use is also more common with the current generation of teens, and many studies have found that using a cell is distracting whether you’re using a handset or hands-free device.
And texting isn’t lost in this survey – thought to be one of the riskiest behaviours to partake in behind the wheel. About 28 percent of respondents admitted to texting while driving. This number may not seem as high as the others, but it should be noted that this 28 percent averaged sending 23 texts a month.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
We all have that one commercial that makes us tear up. We may not admit it, but every time it comes on, we stop what we’re doing and reach for a tissue. A new Subaru commercial falls into this category, and if you’re a parent, it will tug on your heartstrings more than just a little bit.
The TV ad, called “Baby Driver,” features a father handing over the car keys to his daughter as she sets off to drive alone for the first time. If you’ve ever watched your son or daughter pull out of the driveway for their first solo ride, we bet this ad will make you choke up. (Interesting side note: the two girls who star in the ad are real-life sisters and the “dad” is the real-life father to both girls.)
The ad starts with a six-year-old girl behind the wheel of a Subaru Legacy, while her father gives her the “safety talk” through the passenger side window. When he passes her the keys, we see that it’s really been a 16-year-old about to take her first ride alone, even though her Dad still sees her as his “little girl.”
And in a situation where life imitates art, Andy Lyons, who plays the concerned father, is experiencing this moment in his own life. “As father to both the girls, portraying those complex emotions on-screen was not a stretch for me. Having my first daughter, Lanna reach driving age and knowing that my second, Georgie, will be there all too soon, I understand the anxiety of handing over the keys for the first time.”
This ad is meant to spotlight the inherent safety of Subaru vehicles and the time in a teen’s life when they are responsible enough to take the family vehicle out on the road, as it tries to authentically portray that big moment. “When we found this family we threw out the script,” said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communications, Subaru of America, Inc. “We simply asked the dad, what would you tell your daughter before she pulled away? The dad took it from there and he was perfect.”
Watch the video after the jump, and feel free to well up (we promise not to tell).
For most teenagers, a list of cars most suitable for their age group would likely be made up of low slung Italian droptops or monstrous pickup trucks. But for all but a few lucky “My Super Sweet 16″ participants, the fact is that something more bland is in the cards for young drivers.
That’s not to say that Consumers Reports picks are boring. They may not be flashy, but cars like the Mazda3 and Acura TSX let you have some fun behind the wheel, and even the Honda Accord has a bit of agility while being practical enough to hold 5 adults and their stuff. Interestingly, Consumers Reports did include on truly fast car on their list of Best Cars for Seniors, the Subaru Forester XT. With a 2.5L turbocharged flat-four, the Forester XT will spirit grandma and grandpa to the early-bird special in no time. Perhaps teenagers are better off borrowing grandma and grandma’s ride rather than getting their own.
[Source: Consumers Reports]
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Just like the title says, the venerable magazine Consumers Reports has released its list of cars suitable for teen drivers, and absolutely none of them will make the budding enthusiast glow with delight.
Of course, Consumers Reports is primarly concerned with safety when it comes to cars for first time drivers, so their choices are swayed by features like Electronic Stability Control, curtain airbags and the like. The choices are split between pedestrian fare like the Toyota Camry and Saturn Aura, and older luxury cars like the Acura RL or the BMW 3 and 5 Series. As the magazine astutely points out, older luxury cars will be a little nicer and come with a wide array of safety gear, but repairs will certainly be costly.
Hit the jump to see the full list of Consumers Reports’ Top 10 Cars For Teen Drivers
[Source: Consumers Reports]
In New Jersey, you can see a teen driver coming your way, thanks to a new law that requires drivers younger than 21 to put a small red decal on their license plates.
But it’s not just the teens that are seeing red – it’s their parents as well. Many are concerned that it signals out minors to stalkers, and could lead to stalking at night or while teen girls try to get to their cars at parking lots.
The red decal comes into effect under Kyleigh’s Law, which is named after Kyleigh D’Alessio, a 16-year-old New Jersey girl killed in a 2006 car accident that also injured two others. New Jersey is the first state to attempt to make young drivers known to law enforcement by marking their vehicles.
The law has been in effect for over six weeks now, and fewer than half of the 250,000 young drivers covered by Kyleigh’s Law have bought the decals as of yet, which cost $4 for a pair. Teens caught without the decals face a $100 fine. And the decal may get shut down just as soon as it’s gotten started, as lawmakers have already introduced bills to repeal the new law.
Stats show that around 6,000 teens die in car accidents nationwide each year, and drivers are most accident prone in their first two years on the road. New Jersey instituted a Graduated Driver License program 10 years ago that carries a curfew and limits on the number and ages of passengers who can be in a provisional driver’s vehicle.
What do you think? Will the red decal do more harm then good in terms of a teen driver’s safety, or does it promise to save lives? Leave your comments below.
It’s easy to get distracted while you’re driving – especially if you’re a teen. Sometimes, the siren song of the cell phone can be too much to resist. In fact, recent studies state drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes at 16 percent. To combat this serious problem, Massachusetts’ Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation has introduced the Distractology 101 tour, which offers young drivers an up-close and personal look at the dangerous and deadly effects of distracted driving.
Set to hit various locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island over the next three years, Arbella will be touring in a 36-foot long neon yellow mobile trailer equipped with two driving simulators that will teach them how to stay focused and safe while on the road. Teens can get behind the wheel and see how they would do in a variety of real-world scenarios that take them through the dangers of distracted driving.
Arbella joined forces with labs from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to develop the program. At the end of the three years, about 10,000 novice drivers will have taken the simulator training, as well as an online curriculum and safe driving pledge.
The effects of distracted driving are similar to driving while drunk, as shown by multiple studies. Data from the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) shows that almost 6,000 people were killed and more than a half million injured in 2008 as a result of distracted driving. Other studies have shown that the risk of crashing while texting is 23 times higher than driving while drunk.
After the jump, watch the video that demonstration how the program works. For more information about this program and tour stops, visit DistractU.com.
[Source: Consumer Reports]