Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is teen driving a public health epidemic?

As I was reading the current edition of US. News and World Report, I saw this Allstate advertisement that said: Teen Driving: A Public Health Epidemic. Here are the stats (according to this ad):
  • More than 4,000 teens die in car crashes each year
  • Another 355,000 are injured in car crashes each year
Wow, those stats are staggering! US News is conducting a poll to gauge opinions on this topic. If you'd like to vote, visit: www.usnews.com/drivingpoll

Right now, the poll is asking this question: "What factor do you think is responsible for the majority of teen-driving crashes?"
  • Inexperience 
  • Speeding 
  • Texting or talking on a cell phone 
  • Alcohol use 
It's too bad they don't have "all of the above" since that's what everyone would probably pick. 

1 comment:

  1. Teen driving safety is a huge issue.

    I'm with a company that makes a system to help parents monitor driver performance (things like speed, RPM, hard stop, hard start, throttle position and the like) by recording it with an expensive, easy to use device, then they can upload it to our servers for processing into easy to use charts and graphs that they can review with their child. (Http://www.carcheckup.com)

    We come down on the side of practice, practice, practice. There is a lot of motor memory and situational awareness that needs have to develop when learning to drive. The only way to do it is to practice.

    Here are some things we recommend at CarCheckup:
    1. LOTS of practice...Make sure your driver has practice driving in all driving conditions. Day, Night, Sunny Weather, Stormy Weather, Snow/Ice, City driving, Highway driving, driving on country roads.
    2. Develop familiarity with trips to common locations. For example, multiple directions to the same location...multiple times. Make sure they have practiced going to the neighborhood grocery store at night, in the rain, during rush hour and with multiple routes. This helps your teen driver to develop situational awareness.
    3. Keep a log! Track your young drivers practice over the course of multiple months. This way you can be sure that you haven't missed any situations they are likely to encounter.
    We have developed a system to help parents along this path and give them some piece of mind in regards to their teens driving habits. It's inexpensive and helps parents and their new teen drivers review their driving performance. You can learn more at http://www.carcheckup.com
    Remember: Good judgment is based upon experience with bad judgments. It can be hard to remember that your teen is learning a new skill that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Parents need to be sure that they focus on the learning moments, and not turn this into a battle of wills.
    You can find more tips for parents of teen drivers at www.carcheckup.com/blogs