7/9/2013 2:45 PM ET|
Parents' bad driving advice to teens
Most parents get nervous when their kids start driving. If other drivers heard most of the parents' advice, they'd be nervous, too.
Strapping yourself into the passenger seat the first time your teenager takes the wheel is one of the scarier turning points of parenting.
Teen drivers are four times more likely to crash, on a per-mile basis, than older drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They are notorious for taking stupid risks and being overconfident about their driving ability.
But before you start lecturing your kid, take a look in the mirror. Many of the mistakes teen drivers make stem from things they learn from parents.
"You hear all kinds of crazy stuff," says Sharon Postigo Fife, the president of the Driving School Association of the Americas in Kettering, Ohio.
Here's some of the worst driving advice parents give their teenagers.
Do as I say, not as I do
Telling your kid about the danger of texting and driving won't do any good if you pick up your cellphone while motoring down the highway.
"Parents say one thing, and then do something different," says Brandon Dufour, the general manager of All-Star Driver, a driving school headquartered in Watertown, Conn. "Starting at about age 11 or 12, your child is paying attention to your driving habits and noting consciously or subconsciously all those things you do ."
Two-thirds of surveyed teens say their parents live by different driving rules than the ones they expect their kids to follow, according to research in 2012 by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Among respondents, 91% reported seeing their parents talk on a cellphone while driving, 88 percent observed their parents speeding and 59 percent said their parents have sent text messages while driving.
"Kids figure, 'If Mom can do it, I can do it,'" Dufour says.
It's OK to speed a little
Brad Ault, the president of the Florida Professional Driving School Association and Ault's Driver Education Center in Englewood, Fla., says he hears parents tell teens it's all right to drive five miles per hour over the speed limit because "everybody does it."
But they should teach their kids to obey the speed limit and to drive according to conditions. Too many drivers don't slow down when the weather is bad.
"That's what kills a lot of people," Ault says.
A speeding ticket for even 5 mph over the limit can affect your car insurance premiums, says Penny Gusner, a CarInsurance.com consumer analyst. "One minor ticket could go either way," Gusner says. "But two tickets -- even if they are both minor -- are a pattern that will scare your insurance company."
Pump the brakes to prevent skidding
Before modern brake systems were developed, drivers were told to pump the brakes to prevent them from locking up. But most cars today are equipped with antilock brakes, making pumping unnecessary, says Casey Carden, a regional chief instructor for the Southeast for the Skip Barber Racing School in Braselton, Ga.
Antilock brakes are designed to prevent your car from skidding when you use them in an emergency. For a vehicle without antilock systems, Carden advises letting up on the brakes slightly, rather than pumping them.
"Pumping the brake pedal upsets the balance of the car," he says.
Airbags and antilock brakes, though nearly universal on newer cars, still bring a car insurance discount with most companies.
Look over the hood ornament as you drive
Looking over the hood ornament doesn't give the driver enough scope. You should look farther up the road -- one to two intersections ahead -- in the city and as far as you can scan in the country, Fife says.
Keeping your eyes focused farther ahead, rather than right in front of you, gives you greater peripheral vision, Carden says.
"While you're driving, you want to see everything, but look at nothing," Carden says. "You want to be fully aware of what's going on around you."
Plus, how many cars have hood ornaments these days?
Hold the steering wheel at 10 and 2
You might have been taught to hold the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 positions, envisioning the steering wheel as a clock. But that advice became outdated when airbags were developed, Ault says. Today, driving instructors generally tell drivers to hold the wheel at the 10 and 3 positions, avoiding an explosively deployed airbag.
All new cars sold today have at least front airbags, but most have side airbags as well. Some manufacturers now offer center knee, seat belt and pedestrian airbags.
Wait until you're 18, so you can skip all the requirements
Many states require classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction for teen drivers to get licensed, but most don't require driver education for new drivers or place restrictions on them once they reach 18. Fife says some families put off letting their kids drive until they're 18 so they can skip all those pesky requirements in place for younger teens.
But new drivers of any age can make mistakes from inexperience and lack of instruction. If the licensing age rises to 18 without the proper safeguards in place, Fife says, the crash rate for 18-year-olds will increase.
"I think this country takes driving as joke," she says.
If more than 30,000 people died in the United States in a tragedy, she adds, "You'd be hearing all about it. But every year, that's how many people die in car crashes."
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A large problem is still azzwipes text and drive,even where illegal.
It's obvious because they drive worse than a drunk,and don't seem to even realize it.
Or you can have mega traffic,just going along with it,but apparently STILL not fast enough for azzwipes passing multiple cars,ducking in and out of the left turn only lane. Where they going? There's cars everywhere during rush hour. No matter what they do,they're still only going redlight to redlight,just as fast as they can. Great killer of their MPG tho.
Guess nascar needs more drivers? Plenty of wannabes out there if they do.
Personally I think that the unconfident drivers are the ones who are complaining about the speeders. Speeding doesn't kill, it is the driver who does not pay attention, or does not focus on the road farther ahead, rather than what is in front of them. Most people do not know the capabilities of their cars, or were not taught what to do in emergency situations, luckily for me, me father told me what to do in case of ice and how to not brake but let the car ride it out. I agree that some people are over confident, but doesn't anybody ever question why the United States, doesn't have a limitless speed highway like Europe. Maybe its because everyone is able to get a license, without having to take a REAL driving text, I remember reading an article about how in Germany you have to spend 2000 Euros to take a driving class, and at least 60 hours in the class, where they teach you real life emergency situation, and what to do. But over here I guess that it is more important that you learn how to parallel park, and do a three point turn... I fell sorry for everyone that gets a bad Driving education, and not a real one that actually helps you in reality.
Well that was my rant, just felt like I had to get that off my chest, for all you people saying that speeding is the problem.
States should enact a new law requiring any driver incurring 4 points for moving violation over any amount of years. Should be required to be retested on both the driving test and written test. They should be required to pass the driving test and pass the written test with 80% or better. any who fail.
Should be require to take driving school coarse. Then retested by the state to receive back their license. This would lower death rates and improve driving on are highways. The biggest need on a highway is for the officers to ticket the driver for the speed they were going. Not to adjust the speed to a minor fine and being a nice officer. Maybe adding it to the police beat in the paper for those exceeding the speed by 20 mph or speeding in a school/work zone. I'm sure this would work too.
People are inherently rude. They drive like they own the road and everyone else be dammed. In a probably frutile effort, here are a few driving lessons for the rude idiots.
Use your turn signals so everyone else knows what your little mind is thinking.
When going into a toll, go strait to the closest toll you can use. Do not cut across 3-4 lanes of traffic just because you want to go a certain way when you come out of the toll plaza. There is much less traffic coming out of the toll plaza than going in. Plenty of time to cut over to whatever lane you need. Don’t forget, the car in front has the right of way. And please, use your turn signal….Hello, any one home in there? Truckers this applies to you. You are the worst offenders.
When approaching a merge, use all lanes up to the merge. Cutting over early just backs the traffic up even more. And remember again, the car in front has the right of way. Truckers… Are You Listening?
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