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School’s almost out and summer is right around the corner. We know you can hardly wait, but did you know that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers?
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.”
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.