Your Teenage Driver - Speed Kills
We’ve all heard the mantra a thousand times: “Speed kills!”
As parents of teenage drivers we know it’s true. Chances are good that your teen driver has heard the phrase a time or two as well. The problem is that your teen may not really believe it’s true—especially when it comes to his or her driving. The Allstate Foundation reported that some 55 percent of teens they surveyed said that they at least occasionally exceed the posted speed limits by more than 10 miles per hour.
The scary thing about this is that according to National Safety Council statistics, for every 10 MPH over 55, the chances of being killed in a crash DOUBLES! What’s scarier still, 40 percent of the surveyed teens claim that they plan to continue exceeding the posted limits in the future.
It’s not just driving too fast that’s the problem, however. A lot of teenage drivers falsely believe they are safe drivers. According to the Allstate survey, close to half of them claimed to be “defensive” drivers. They saw themselves as “safe” drivers. But they also claimed that more than 60 percent of their peers were “aggressive” drivers. This shows a complete “disconnect” between perception and reality.
Unfortunately, there is some misconception among teens as to what makes a driver a “safe” driver. More than 50 percent of teenage drivers surveyed were under the impression that most teenage car crashes came about as a result of drinking and driving. The fact is that fewer than 25 percent of those crashes involve alcohol. Of course that’s still far too many, but it means that 75 percent of teen crashes are due to other driving mistakes.
Teen drivers are involved in over 800,000 crashes per year, resulting in 3,000 lost lives (www.rita.dot.gov). Make sure your teen driver is aware of these statistics. Driving is 90% mental, as proven by the fact that 9 out of 10 car crashes are caused by mental error (www.nhtsa.gov) with the main culprits being speeding, tailgating and an overall lack of focus while driving.