May is designated as Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, and for good reason. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for youth aged 15-29. In order to help promote safe driving habits among young people, here are a few safety tips:
Take driver’s ed
If you’re a teen driver, taking a driver’s education course can help you learn safe driving habits and reduce your risk of being in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers who have completed a driver’s ed course are less likely to be involved in an accident.
Buckle up, every time
Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay safe on the road. In fact, it has been estimated that seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45% and the risk of serious injury by 50%.
Obey the speed limit and drive defensively
Speeding is one of the most common contributing factors in teen accidents. According to the CDC, 37% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the accident. Obeying the speed limit and driving defensively can help reduce the risk of an accident.
Be aware of your surroundings
Distracted driving is a major problem among teen drivers. According to the CDC, 16% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the accident. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions while driving.
Put down the phone
Distracted driving is a leading cause of teen accidents. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving accidents. Put down the phone and focus on the road to help reduce the risk of an accident.
Don’t drink and drive
Drunk driving is a major problem among teen drivers. According to MADD, teen drivers are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a fatal drunk driving accident. If you’re going to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.
Use turn signals when changing lanes or turning
Using turn signals is a basic driving courtesy that can help prevent accidents. According to the NHTSA, failure to use a turn signal is one of the most common causes of accidents.
Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights
Running red lights and stop signs is a major cause of accidents. In 2016, 709 people were killed and over 100,000 were injured in accidents involving red light runners. Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights to help prevent accidents.
Yield to pedestrians
Pedestrian accidents are a major problem, especially among teen drivers. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. Yielding to pedestrians can help prevent these accidents.
Keep a safe distance from other cars when driving
According to the NHTSA, following too closely is one of the most common causes of accidents. If you are following another car too closely, you will not have enough time to stop if that car suddenly stops or slows down. Tailgating is also dangerous because it can lead to aggressive driving and road rage. In general, you should leave at least two seconds of space between your car and the car in front of you. This may seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference in an emergency situation.
By following these safety tips, teen drivers can help reduce their risk of being involved in an accident. Stay safe on the road this May and throughout the year.