The "100 Deadliest Days" may have ended on Labor Day, but safe teen driving habits should be practiced every time you drive.
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the "100 Deadliest Day," because the average number of fatal teen driver crashes is 15 percent higher, when compared to the rest of the year. Practicing safe driving habits can even save you money on auto insurance. Make the decision to “Just Drive!” and be part of the solution by making a pledge not to talk or text while driving!
Practice the following safe driving tips and encourage others to do the same:
Safe Driving Tips
Change your Mindset
Before getting into specific habits that can improve your driving, start by changing your philosophy on what texting and driving actually is, by seeing these actions as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Most teens know that a DUI refers to driving with alcohol or drugs in your system and in strictly legal terms that's true.
The comparison doesn't diminish the dangers of drunken driving, but using the term DUI for texting and driving highlights the serious nature involved in your actions. If you don't see how the two are related, consider the following:
Both actions involve poor decision making
Drunken driving and distraction-based (texting and driving) accidents are the leading causes of fatal crashes involving teens. Texting and driving has surpassed drunken driving as the leading cause of these crashes. Sixty percent of all deadly crashes involving teens are distraction-based.
Both involve being influenced by something other than what's happening on the road. Drunken Driving obviously involves you being influenced by a substance impairing your driving ability. When you text and drive, your phone is influencing you to take your eyes off the road and onto your phone screen.
When driving, your entire focus should be on driving. Any other factors that disrupt your attention,whether it's intoxication or texting and driving, need to be removed.The only influence on your driving behavior should be on the actions of the other cars on the road. Anything that impairs those action can lead to deadly conclusions.
Put Down the Phone
Put down your phone as soon as you climb in the driver’s seat of your vehicle. If you get a call you need to handle, pull over before answering or have a passenger handle take the call.
Silence is Lively
Rather than allowing yourself to be tempted by your phone, stick it in the backseat and turn it on silent.
Download and use one of the many available apps allowing you to automatically disable your phone capabilities once your car begins moving at a certain speed.
Hands-Free Doesn't Mean Risk Free
Realize that even though you may use a hands-free device, this does not mean that you are safe or in the clear. Try to avoid having any phone conversations while driving, period.
If you’re traveling in a car with someone who is using their phone, ask them politely to stop for the safety of you and others in the vehicle.
Calling a Driver
If you call someone who answers the phone while driving, nicely ask them to call you back once they have parked.
Teens, please stay safe on the road by watching out for yourself and others. Parents, help your teen driver understand the importance of safe driving. Helping your child grasp good driving habits is by not only describing good habit, but by setting the example by practicing safe driving habits yourself.