We tell our teen drivers not to text and drive, speed, or drink and drive. But have you told your teen what to do if there actually is an emergency?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the number one killer for teens aged 15-to 20-years old in the United States, and traffic accidents for 16-19-year-old teen drivers are higher than any other age group, according to the California DMV—scary stats.
It’s important to keep yourself safe when you do have an accident to prevent it from becoming an even worse incident; far too often, after an accident, a driver will pull over only to be hit by a passing car.
According to AutoMD.com, there are five important measures drivers—especially teen drivers— should keep in mind after an accident to stay safe.
5 Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
- Get your car off the road
- Call for help
- Alert others with lights and signals
- Stay in your car while waiting for help to arrive unless it is absolutely unsafe to do so
- If you have a flat tire or a tire blowout, pull onto a flat area if possible so that a car jack can be used safely and properly.
Being prepared can often equal being smart: staying safe after an accident is important, but so is handling the episode well. You may want to consider services such as On-Star or memberships like AAA which are helpful in case of an emergency.
More advice comes from Cal Drive: if your car breaks down in the center lane of a highway or freeway, stay in the car in less it’s absolutely safe to get across the freeway and off the road.
And then there’s some great Mom advice for teen drivers:
- Remain calm
- Take deep breaths
- Be patient
- Call or text Mom ASAP!
Last, as parents, we can lead by example. Do not speed, tailgate, or criticize other drivers; show your kids the power and importance of safe driving and they will pick up on your cues. Advocate for no cell phone use while driving (and don’t use it yourself when you’re behind the wheel!). And when your teen is finally licensed to drive, only allow one passenger at a time.
Also, advise your teen to wait until they are a year older for them to get their license. Here is a little information that may help your argument: the crash rate per mile driven is twice as high for 16-year-olds as it is for 18- and 19-year-olds. (RMIIA), and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 30,000 deaths and over 2 million injuries from motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. every year.