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Fact: Car crashes are a major cause of teen deaths. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers are four times more prone to car crashes than are older drivers. With this troubling statistic in mind, is there anything else teens and parents need to keep in mind aside from the cardinal rule that one shouldn’t drink and drive and should always wear a seatbelt?  Here are some muddled myths that contribute to teen car crashes:Teen Driving Safety Myths

Myth #1:  Texting while driving is excusable.
There’s one habit most teenagers are having a hard time breaking, and the price some of them pay is rather costly: their lives. Texting while driving is NOT safe. Taking your eyes off the road even just for a few seconds increases the likelihood of a car crash by as much as 23 times! That’s because text messaging while driving significantly decreases hazard detection, risk perception and focus on the road by 400 percent, according to the American Medical Association.

Myth #2: Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is the major cause of car crashes.
Driving under the influence is never safe, but contrary to what most parents and teens believe, it’s not the leading cause of vehicular accidents among teens. Alcohol and drug use accounts for 10% of teen car crashes, while excessive speed (32%) and driver inattention (15%) are the leading causes.
Young drivers need to know how to identify potential threats and to always give their full attention as they drive. Also, they must never drive when they haven’t had enough sleep. Yes, even above average students who’ve spent the entire night studying for an exam are not safe from teen car crashes. Distractions such as loud music and other noisy passengers ought to be eliminated.

Myth #3: A driving course is all a teenager needs to learn safe driving.
Although a driving school will help lessen teenage driver crash risk factors, it’s nothing more than a start. Driving schools usually offer a couple of hours of training basic skills and practice, but what you really need is at least 100 hours of practice driving to reinforce the lessons taught in the driving course. There are also several skills which aren’t covered by most courses, such as left turns, taking u-turns, parallel parking, driving in harsh conditions and at night, and changing lanes among many others.

Myth #4: Parents have no influence on their children’s driving habits.
Remember the age-old saying that children learn by imitating the behavior of their parents? The same holds true for driving. Parents may never run out of lectures regarding teen driving safety, but if they break their own rules (and worse, the traffic regulations!), children will most likely copy such behavior.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 10:33 AM  View Comments

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