Archive for the ‘teen driving’ Tag

Top distraction for teen drivers in crashes may surprise you

Startling new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals the disturbing behaviors behind distracted driving among young drivers.

Usually, AAA refers to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “summer driving season,” but now, it’s giving it a much more ominous name – the “100 Deadliest Days.”

During the summer months, more teenagers are on the road and the number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers soars to an average of 10 every day — 16 percent higher than the rest of the year.

Working with the University of Iowa, AAA studied teen drivers over the past eight years, using dashboard cameras and documenting more than 2,200 moderate to severe collisions. Over that time, they saw a disturbing change in behavior.

“They’re more likely to interact with their phones via texting or social media, which is particularly scary because they’re actually then looking down, taking their eyes off the road,” said Jennifer Ryan of AAA.

According to the study, 60 percent of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving. But perhaps surprisingly, the study found that cell phones are not the number one problem.

The top distraction for teens is other passengers, accounting for 15 percent of teen driver accidents, compared to 12 percent caused by distracted by texting or talking on a cell phone.

“What we know about teens is that when they add a passenger, they’re more likely to be distracted, they’re more likely to engage in risky behavior,” Ryan said.

Stacy Robinson lost two daughters in a crash in Texas in March. A teenage friend who was driving was looking at her phone moments before hitting an 18-wheeler head on.

“I will miss both of my daughters very much,” Robinson said, sobbing.

Now, Toron Woolridge, the brother of the two girls, spreads the word about the dangers of distracted driving.

“The best way that I can honor my sisters, the best way I know possible is to talk to youth and talk to parents and help them to understand what could happen,” Woolridge said.

AAA recommends complete bans on wireless devices for drivers under age 18, which is now the law in 30 states.

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How to Choose a Drivers Training Program

Whether you’re a teen driver, an adult ready to get your first drivers license, picking the right driver’s training program is nothing to scoff at. Learning how to drive properly and safely takes time and practice, therefore finding the best course and driving school — that is also state-approved — should be of the utmost of importance.

There are a few questions you should ask yourself when you start researching which type of driving lessons and training you should enroll into:

How much can I afford for this training?
How quickly do I want to complete the program?
How do I find a state-approved instructor and driving school?
Do I want one-on-one training, or can I work in a group with multiple students?
Is it possible to complete the classroom instruction online?

What to Expect in Driver’s Training School

Drivers Education

Most states require that every teen driver enroll into some sort of state-approved driver’s education course. Some states require that adults working toward their first driver license enroll, too.

Depending on your age, this training will require you to be in a classroom atmosphere to learn the ins and outs of driving safely. Sometimes, you can take the classroom instruction part of these courses online, but even if your state allows that, chances are you still must complete behind-the-wheel training with an instructor when you’ll learn and practice actual driving skills.

Driver Improvement

Driver improvement courses are a different kind of drivers training. Typically, these courses are designed to help drivers refresh their knowledge or even acquire knowledge they didn’t have before.

People enroll in traffic schools for numerous reasons, including to:

Lower auto insurance rates.
Satisfy a traffic ticket (or have points reduced or the ticket dismissed).
Sharpen driving knowledge for personal reasons.

Generally, these classes don’t require actual driving lessons; rather, they focus on knowledge of driving rules and regulations.

Tips on Finding the Best Drivers Training

Tips for finding the best drivers training for you depends on the reason you need a training course, but overall look for courses that:

Meet your state’s requirements. Unless you’re taking the course for personal reasons, chances are you must choose a course approved by whichever entity you’re working with (the state, the court, your auto insurance provider, etc.).
Fit your budget. You CAN shop around for driver training courses.
Work with your schedule. You might not have much wiggle room if you’re taking a course to get your driver’s license, but if you’re doing it for court or insurance purposes, you might find approved online courses that let you work at your own pace during times that are convenient for you.

Don’t forget to search for reviews. You can find these online and by talking to other drivers.

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