You as a parent may be combatting that uneasy feeling that tells you: “My teen passed the driving test but does not really have a lot of real life driving experience.”
Your uneasy feeling is based on reality. For both men and women, drivers aged 16 to 19 years of age, have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any other age group. Parents need to take the extra step of providing their teens with every possible advantage in overcoming the obstacles and dangers that they will face on the road.
The key to your teen arriving safely to each destination is providing your teen with the tools to assess situations and swiftly respond to potential DANGERS!
The Road America Teen Driving Program allows your teen to develop skills to quickly respond to common emergency situations while in a safe, controlled environment. Participants practice collision avoidance techniques that include emergency lane changes, braking, skid control and a variety of other fundamental auto control drills.
Your teen will learn all of the following:
Prepare — The ability to swiftly respond to changing weather conditions while practicing evasive maneuvers in order to avoid collisions.
Predict — Develop defensive driving skills to understand the behaviors of other drivers. For example, a driver in the lane next to your teen is involved in a conversation on the cell phone. Your teen can predict that this driver will not be aware of harmful traffic situations that are evolving. Your teen will know to change lanes, speed up or slow down in order to evade contact with a distracted driver.
Prevent — When your teen sees something happening ahead or notices a change in the rear view or side mirrors, he or she must be ready to act confidently. Maintaining presence of mind and safely adjusting speed and attaining more distance from other vehicles will often bring a positive result.
Protect — The most important people in your teen’s life are often in the vehicle with your teen. Your foresight as a parent and decision to require a defensive driving class will protect your teen and his or her friends from serious injury or worse.
Keep Your Cell Phone Off — Multiple studies indicate using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk―that's even when using a hands-free phone.
Don't Text — Research shows texting―on average―causes a loss of focus on the road for 4.6 seconds. You can drive the length of a full football field in that time. A lot can go wrong while you drive the length of a football field without your eyes on the road. Don't try the "texting-while-stopped" approach, either, as many states ban texting while behind the wheel. And, when you have your head down, you won't notice key developments that may occur. Remember, you still need to pay attention to the road when you're stopped.
Minimize Distractions — It may be tempting to eat, drink, flip around the radio dial, or play music loudly while you're cruising around town; however, all can cause your mind or vision to wander, even for a few seconds. As an inexperienced driver, you are more apt to lose control of your car. Distractions can significantly increase the chances that you do not notice impending danger or notice it too late and lose the ability to control the vehicle.
Drive Solo — Having a single teen passenger in your car can double the risk of causing a car accident. Adding additional teen passengers causes the risk to escalate.
Turn on Your Headlights — Using your headlights increases your visibility and helps other drivers see you. Early morning, late at night or early evening (dusk), foggy conditions, rain and snow conditions all require the use of lights.
Obey the Speed Limit — Speeding is a major contributor to teen accidents. This is especially true when driving on unfamiliar roads or roads with lots of traffic. Don't feel pressured to keep up with traffic if it seems like everyone else is flying by you. Driving a within the speed limit helps ensure a safe trip and avoids costly traffic tickets.