Top Mistakes of Young Drivers
Last Updated on April 5th, 2018
Learn the top mistakes so you and your children can avoid them
According to a study conducted by aceable.com with the help of Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute, the biggest factor in teens driving distracted may be witnessing their parents’ habits.Â â€œ3,477 traffic deaths were cause by distracted driving in 2015. Thatâ€™s a 10% increase over the previous year. If 75% of teens say that they see their parents distracted (primarily by cell phones) when driving, then itâ€™s clear that parents have to step up and set the right example to help reverse this trendâ€ says Aceable’s CEO, Blake Garrett.
In one study, 45 percent of high school seniors surveyed said they had drunk alcohol in the past month. Teen drivers are at greater risk for accidents than older adults – four times greater, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Here are some of the most common mistakes young drivers make:
- Being distracted behind the wheel – Cell phones, CDs, food, and even text messages can pose serious distractions to drivers. In some cases, drivers will even text their back seat passengers, said Gary Tsifrin of DriversEd.com
- Taking too many risks – Actions such as ignoring traffic signals or school zone signs and changing lanes without checking blind spots. Unlike distracted driving, risky behavior is deliberate
- Speeding – Most drivers occasionally speed, but teens do so because they don’t have a good sense of how a car’s speed can affect their response time. On average, teens drive faster than all other drivers as a whole.
- Overcrowding the car – Teens frequently overcrowd their car, Tsifrin said. The distractions of carrying too many passengers can have serious consequences. A 2000 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Johns Hopkins University said that with two passengers, 16-year old drivers were at nearly double the risk of having a fatal accident than if they were alone.
- Driving under the influence – In 2006, a study by the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 45 percent of high school seniors surveyed said they had drunk alcohol in the past month. January’s survey by Children’s Hospital of Philidelphia and State Farm Insurance said that 45 percent of teens reported seeing other teens drive while high on drugs.
- Following too closely – Maintaining the proper distance is a critical step in preventing accidents. Unfortunately, many teens fail to do so: in a 2005 National Institutes of Health study, teen drivers left nearly two-tenths of a second less following distance behind the car ahead than did general traffic.
- Driving unbuckled – A 2003 survey by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 79 percent of drivers ages 16 to 24 said they wore their seat belts regularly, and 84 percent of the overall population did so.
- Not being able to handle emergencies – Knowing how to avoid an accident comes with driving experience. Young drivers can learn only so much in the classroom, which leaves learning maneuvers like straightening out a skid or how to apply the brakes correctly to real-world experience
- Driving drowsy – Drowsy driving often affects an unlikely group – the so-called ‘good kids.’ That means straight-A students or those with a full plate of activities. Three-fourths of teens in one survey said they had observed their peers driving while fatigued.
- Choosing the wrong car and not maintaining it – Too often, a combination of tight budgets and high style leads teens to pass up important safety features for larger engines and flashy accessories.
If you were involved in an accident in Texas, we’ll be happy to mail it to you (together with a host of other free stuff.) You can either email us, call us at (512) 343-2572, or fill in the form to the right.
3 Big Pickups Don't Deliver Good Side Protection
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
Three large pickup trucks that serve as workhorses for construction crews, farmers and small-business owners are not providing good protection from side crashes, according to tests conducted by the insurance industry which struck the side of the vehicles with a barrier moving at 31 miles per hour to imitate the front end of a pickup truck or sports utility vehicle.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave low marks to the 2009 versions of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Dodge Ram 1500, and Nissan Titan in side crash tests.
The Ram, equipped with standard side air bags, earned the second-lowest score of “marginal.”Â The Titan and Silverado received the lowest mark of “poor” when tested without optional side air bags.
When the trucks were tested with the optional safety equipment, the Titan’s rating improved to “marginal,” but the Silverado continued to receive a “poor” rating.Â The institute said the Silverado’s test results also applied to its twin, the GMC Sierra 1500.
The institute attributed the Silverado’s low ratings to a combination of a poor side structure and a lack of side torso air bags.Â The optional side curtain airbags worked well in protecting motorists’ heads, but a person’s upper body would remain unprotected even with the optional side curtain air bags.
According to David Zuby, the institute’s vice president, “The size, weight and height of these large pickups should help them ace the side tests just like the other large pickups we’ve tested.Â Not these three.”Â Zuby said that occupants of passenger cars typically are more vulnerable in a side crash because their bodies are in line with the fronts of vehicles.Â But, he said, trucks faired poorly even with the higher seating positions.
GM spokeswoman Carolyn Markey said the Silverado and Sierra received top scores in the government’s front- and side-impact tests.
If you were injured in a side crash, regardles of the type of car you were driving, be sure to call our office at (512) 343-2572.