For many teens, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage; adulthood feels right around the corner! For parents, it’s a whole new stress to endure. It’s challenging not to worry about them being safe once they’re behind the wheel — despite their education and preparedness from driver’s ed — because vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. The National Highway Safety Administration data notes that nearly 3,000 teens die annually in such accidents, with inexperience of young drivers, and distracted and impaired driving cited as the most common reasons.
In 2003, Ford – along with the Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of safety experts – established Driving Skills for Life (DSFL). The ongoing goal is to teach teens safe driving skills beyond what their driver’s ed may have covered. There are five areas of focus: hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, space management and distracted/impaired driving. Be sure to visit drivingskillsforlife.com where you will find invaluable educational tools and also to take part in the DSFL Academy.
Because National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 19-25, 2014, Ford is sharing its safe-driving tips to empower teens—but really, these apply to drivers of all ages!
1. Engage in the driving process: As teens get closer to earning/acquiring their learner’s permit, parents should actively engage with them about driving. Talk about safe-driving behaviors, practice with them and be clear that unsafe actions won’t be tolerated.
2. Buckle up — It’s the law: In a crash, a person not buckled up is much more likely to be injured or killed than someone wearing a safety belt. Always buckle up and require all passengers to buckle up for everyone’s safety.
3. Never speed: Research done for the Ford Driving Skills for Life program shows that if parents speed, their teens are more likely to do the same. Speed-related factors continue to be reported in about one-third of all traffic deaths nationally.
4. Don’t drive distracted: Put your cell phone away and concentrate on the road. Parents should set a tough “no distractions” rule for teens, so young drivers will keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
5. Don’t follow too closely: Keep the proper distance from the car in front of you. Remember that the faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop. Doubling vehicle speed can nearly quadruple the distance required to stop.
6. Limit the number of passengers: Graduated driver license laws restrict the passenger number for novice drivers to help focus on the driving task and reduce the potential for distractions while driving.
7. Never drink and drive: Underage use of alcohol and illicit drugs is illegal, and combining alcohol or drugs with driving can be deadly at any age.
Taken from Ford’s Social Blog Online Oct 23 2014 Article