Keep teens safe behind the wheel
Young adults represent seven percent of licensed drivers, yet account for 15 percent of car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Because teens lack extensive driving experience, they’re more likely to get into crashes, says Dr. Thomas Mullin, an emergency medicine physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill.
That’s why experts say it’s so important to stress the importance of teen drivers to take driving seriously. Through the first eight months of 2015, there have been over 550 traffic fatalities in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“You can’t go wrong with defensive driving,” says Dr. Mullin. “Be aware of your surroundings and always be on guard.”
Texting while driving is not the only risky behavior which teens participate in behind the wheel. A recent study found that 27 percent of teens changed their clothes or shoes while driving and some even worked on homework.
To stay safe behind the wheel, the American Automobile Association offers the following recommendations:
- Buckle up. Make sure you and your passengers always wear seat belts.
- Remember that rain, snow, darkness, heavy traffic and other driving conditions are challenging. Take extra precaution in these circumstances.
- Don’t get distracted by eating, texting, talking on your phone or joking with passengers.
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding leaves less time to react.
- Set passenger limits to focus on driving. Driving with young passengers multiplies your risk of being in a crash.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.