Improve the safety of teen drivers with a few easy tips

May 1, 2013 12:00 AM

Parents are always concerned with ways to keep their children safe on the roads. It can be difficult to safeguard younger drivers against all of the dangers of driving, and though it's not impossible, it does require some extra attention. 

"Immaturity and lack of driving experience are the two main factors leading to the high crash rate among teens," said Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. "Even the best teenage drivers don't have the judgment that comes with experience. It affects their recognition of, and response to, hazardous situations and results in dangerous practices such as speeding and tailgating." 

Adults can take advantage of a few tips to improve the safety of their young drivers and others: 

Start with the car
One of the best ways to improve safety behind the wheel is to shop for vehicles that emphasize the protection of passengers. Looking at cars that have earned recognition for their safety features from organizations such as the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety may be a good place to start the car search. Automobiles that earn the IIHS's Top Safety Pick are well equipped to handle all kinds of crashes and accidents, as well as bounce back with the subsequent auto repair, making them a solid choice for any concerned parent. 

Learn on the roads and in the classroom
Young people who enroll in a driver's education course or similar safe driving program may be at an advantage when it comes to taking action on the roads. Not only can these classes give you a break on insurance costs, they can also provide some valuable lessons about handling driving issues, allowing young people to make better decisions when they get to the road. 

Know the basics of the vehicle
Teaching teen drivers about the basics of vehicle maintenance can help them identify and solve problems that may crop up. The ability to change tires, check auto alignment or make an automotive oil change are priceless, but not everyone may be adept at dealing with cars. At the very least, young drivers should know what to look for when checking out a vehicle, so they can figure out when to take it to a professional for a tune up

Set a good example
Ultimately, young drivers pick up a lot of habits from their parents and other adults they are in a car with. Make sure motorists are practicing safe driving at all times, which can make an impact on how teens approach the roads. 

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