Teens have actually terrifying crash rates, but here room 10 beneficial tips to store them crash-free.By Joseph D. Younger


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f you’re a parent through a brand-new driver, this facts will store you up in ~ night: traffic crashes rank as the No. 1 killer that American teenagers. Teen chauffeurs have the greatest collision price of any type of age group, and teens who have driven a year or less have the worst crash rates by far.Behind the wheel, teenagers endanger not just themselves, but likewise everyone else on the road. In fact, the AAA structure for website traffic Safety discovered that pedestrians, passengers and also occupants of other cars account for virtually two out of 3 fatalities in teenager crashes.Crash rates are high because that young drivers due to the fact that of your immaturity and lack of driving experience, which cause them come commit more driving errors and take unnecessary risks. Indeed, the crash price for 16-to 19-year-olds is 4 times the hazard for enlarge drivers, follow to the insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And the hazard of crashes rises v each additional passenger in the car. You have the right to do more than simply shed sleep about the problem. Return you deserve to never absolutely, positively crash-proof a new driver, the complying with 10 procedures will mitigate the threats in a big way. 1. Dimension up your teen’s maturity. In assessing your teen’s readiness to drive, the capacity to make an excellent decisions counts much more than age. However measuring maturity have the right to prove tricky. Certainly, academic performance can serve together a surrogate yardstick. Walk your teen get great grades, finish assignments top top time and also generally take obligation for schoolwork, without her nagging? If not, you could want come reconsider handing over the car keys.For some teens, socialization serves together an even much better indicator 보다 schoolwork, note Dr. Wilhelm Van Tassel, AAA’s director of driver cultivate operations. “How execute teens interact with parents, siblings and other household members?” that asks. “Do castle respect other people? perform they think things through before they act? are they impulsive?” maybe you think together social an abilities bear no relationship to the psycho-motor skills required behind the wheel. But driving is basically a society activity. You require to recognize the rules, respect others’ rights and keep her temper to remain out of problem on the road and also in life. Not all teenagers get a license as shortly as they become legally eligible, and those that don’t usually acquire along simply fine. Part pass up driving out of choice. “I think i had an ext fun by not driving,” says Camille Garrenton, a 20-year-old Ohioan that didn’t obtain her license till she gotten in college. “I never ever really partied hearty in high school. And also I acquired to know a many the older kids better, since they offered me rides to soccer practice and other places.” rather don’t journey by your parents’ choice. “My dad didn’t think i was mature enough to drive,” says Hannah Glatz, who prospered up in Elgin, Ill., smack in car-crazy suburbia. “I, the course, assumed I was. Yet I’m the youngest of 4 kids, and I think he simply wanted to postpone the ‘final freedom’ because that me, the critical one. My friends teased me around it at first, but after a while it was no large deal.” now a college junior in Chicago, Glatz tho doesn’t have her license–and is in no hurry to obtain it. “Sure, I desire to journey someday,” she admits. “It’s just not high ~ above my list of concerns right now.” 2. Journey the means you expect your son to drive. Here’s a discomforting truth: negative drivers beget bad drivers. According to a recent study sponsored by the AAA structure for traffic Safety, teens associated in crashes room much an ext likely 보다 crash-free teenagers to have actually parents with poor driving records, together measured through the variety of tickets and also collisions. “This says that the teens’ driving habits is a enjoy of the parents’ driving behavior,” finish researchers. The correlation holds regardless of parents’ educational level or socio-economic status.Like the or not, you come to be a behind-the-wheel duty model because that your teen long prior to he or she will driving age. Did your child prosper up see you overlook speed limits, yak top top the cell phone or gesture rudely to other drivers? climate why be surprised if your boy does the same as a teen?3. Practice, practice, practice. Her teen demands you even much more after getting a learner’s allow and beginning driver education. “Parents must stay involved,” claims Larry Lonero, primary of Northport Associates, a consulting firm specializing in security training and also research. “Regardless of how good the instructor is, parents need to take an energetic role. The much more involved friend are, the lower the danger will be.”“Essentially, the parent should become the teen’s practice coach,” claims Dr. Frederik R. Mottola, executive, management director that the nationwide Institute for Driver Behavior. That method scheduling constant over-the-road sessions, discovering the specific an abilities and techniques covered in the curriculum, reinforcing them throughout practice, correcting failure calmly and also providing plenty of praise when your teen does well.4. Simply say no come peer passengers and also night driving. Statistics overwhelmingly identify the two biggest risk factors for teenagers as driving at night and having other teens together passengers. The more passengers, the greater the risk. Together stats have actually prompted states to pass graduated driver licensing legislations that step in night driving and variety of passengers, amongst other things.AAA clubs across the country have been important in gaining these GDL regulations passed, and a AAA Foundation-sponsored study mirrors that together legal restrictions really do alleviate new-driver crash rates. However you can do even better. “Parents always have control,” note AAA’s van Tassel. “You can set limits tougher 보다 state laws.” setup stricter curfews and prohibiting every non-family teenager passengers for the first couple of months of steering are methods to provide your teenager the chance to log beneficial solo time in lower-risk conditions. 5. Limit various other distractions. Cabinet phones, CDs, iPods, quick food, mascara–the list of perhaps dangerous behind-the-wheel distractions walk on and also on. That course, you can’t monitor her teen’s habits every minute in the car. However you have the right to model safe behavior by staying clear of such distractions yourself. And also insist that your teenager not eat, use a phone, root around for CDs or scroll through iPod playlists if the car is moving.6. Collection clear after-effects and stick come them. Just as traffic-law violations knife tickets and also other penalties, violations of family driving rules should bring consequences, too. Depending on the offense, they could run indigenous doing extra chores approximately the residence to to reduce the number of driving hours per week, to additional restricting the variety of passengers, to shedding driving privileges for a specified duration of time.Good behavior should have consequences, too. Specialists emphasize that positive feedback–especially rewards for an excellent behavior–reinforce the learning process for new drivers. 7. Put every little thing in writing. As soon as you and also your teen agree ~ above the conditions and also restrictions because that driving privileges, and also the results for violating them, assignment them the end on paper, just to make whatever clear. That course, your teen have to agree come wear his or she seat belt, observe speed limits, speak no come alcohol and also drugs and obey various other laws.In addition, the covenant should spell out your teen’s duties to maintain the vehicle and pay because that driving expenses. Just how much need to he or she add to gas, continuous upkeep and insurance? You can decide, based upon your own financial circumstances. Putting every little thing in composing does much more than make the problems clear. It likewise hammers house the point that driving is severe business, no something you or her teen need to take lightly. (AAA provides a brochure, control Contracts, that offers specific guidance and also sample provisions for a parent-teen agreement. View story on adhering to page to obtain a copy. To download a copy that the contracts, visit www.AAA.com and click top top the news/safety section.)8. Schedule Sunday summits. Follow to the AAA foundation study, parental interaction ranks as among the most vital traits separating crash-free teenagers from crash-prone ones. Merely put, much better parent-teen communication leads to much better driving.How deserve to you tackle a difficulty that has actually plagued parents because that generations? because that starters, AAA’s van Tassel argues holding regular “Sunday summits.” Gather round the kitchen table every couple of weeks to review your teen’s control performance, as well as the conditions and also restrictions you’ve set. “If there have been no violations after ~ 90 days, then maybe you have the right to agree to let her teen have the vehicle an hour after that weekends or some other reward,” suggests Van Tassel. “A summit is one easy-to-use cause system to mete out rewards and implement consequences, as well as a time once you talk about nothing but driving.”9. Get high-tech help. Although girlfriend can’t ride everywhere with your teen to monitor his or she driving habits, you can do the next finest thing. Several service providers offer event data recorders–so-called “black boxes” that store track of best speed, acceleration rates, instances of hard braking and other parameters that show aggressive driving. Some EDRs even sound alarms when the automobile exceeds details pre-set limits. Lock can price as small as $200 plus installation.Understandably, countless teens can balk at what they take into consideration electronic eavesdropping. Everything you do, don’t install an EDR surreptitiously. Secrecy just defeats the EDR’s real purpose–discouraging risky behavior. For example, you want your teen to think twice around speeding, understanding the EDR will record the incident even if the police don’t. However, you must commit to faithfully downloading and install EDR readouts and also reviewing them with each other in her Sunday summits. Much better yet, use an EDR to screen your own driving behavior and share the results with your teen. That way, everyone will see the black box together a family members safety check, not simply a device to snoop on kids.10. Let your teen use the safest car. Often the family’s oldest car becomes the hand-me-down teenmobile, also though it might not it is in the wisest choice. It stands to factor that the the very least experienced driver need to use the the safest car.Size matters in a collision, and huge sedans comprise in crashworthiness what they lack in cool. The latest safety technology–side airbags, anti-lock brakes and also stability control, for example–helps, too, if you have actually a vehicle so equipped. Absolutely protect against small, high-powered sports cars, convertibles (which have higher injury rates) and SUVs (which have tendency to roll over). If your best efforts fail and also your teen does have a crash, you’ve excellent your ideal to maximize protection.

AAA offers cost-free information come teens

Learning to drive is one exciting, frustrating and also anxious time for parents and also teens alike, but AAA uses a free packet of brochures to make the change easier.The very first brochure, welcome Your new Driver, is designed for parents and features stress-reducing techniques to assist safeguard your teen. It can assist you select the right vehicle for your teen and also the ideal driver training basic if you don’t have actually the time or temperament.The 2nd one, becoming the new Driver, is aimed at helping teenagers learn exactly how to make an excellent decisions around every aspect of operating and also maintaining a vehicle. It explains that steering is no a right but a privilege that carries through it an excellent responsibility. The final brochure, control Contracts, has a parent-teen driving commitment that spells the end the rules of driving. It additionally features a parent-to-parent covenant that urges parents to occupational together as a team. For free copies, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope (with two first-class stamps) to: AAA, new Driver Packet, 12901 N. Fourty Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63141. Or visit the news/safety ar of www.AAA.com.

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Above: The more involved parents can come to be in your teen’s driver training, the lower the hazard of the teenager being affiliated in a crash. Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty ImagesTitle: Novice motorists need many of practice behind the wheel in order to become safe drivers. ©Jupiter pictures CorporationBelow: Parents and also teens have to put steering conditions and also restrictions in creating to show that control is major business. George Doyle/Stockbyte Platinum/Getty Images
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Program help teens discover safe drivingTo help teens gain critical experience behind the wheel without the risk, the AAA structure for website traffic Safety arisen Driver-ZED 3.0, a computer-based DVD regime that help novice vehicle drivers recognize and avoid hazards. “ZED” stands for Zero Errors Driving, the in its entirety goal of the program.Originally emerged as a CD-ROM program, the new DVD version has actually been updated and puts teens into 100 live-action situations. Teens should scan video clip clips, point out risks and choose the most safe action. Teens find out to see hazard by suffering it on the computer system instead that behind the wheel. The DVD is basic to install and also features gaming-like flair. Minimum mechanism requirements include: Intel Pentium III 400 mhz processor; Microsoft windows 2000 operating system; 128 MB RAM; 120 MB free hard disk space; 1024 x 768 screen resolution in ~ 24 bit; and 1x DVD-ROM drive. The price is $20, which has shipping and also handling. The price likewise includes a $5 donation come the AAA foundation for web traffic Safety, a non-profit organization devoted to traffic safety research and education.

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To order, call 1-800-222-7623, ext. 6300, or visit online at www.AAA.com and click top top the news/safety section.^ to peak | vault page
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