Auto Safety Page

Driving a car and getting a license is a privilege, not an inherent right. If you don't obey the rules of the road, you can lose this privilege. The feeling of freedom a teenage driver gets when he or she receives a license can end in tragedy when the teen doesn't pay attention to the "rules of the road." According to the Insurance Information Institute, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens between the ages of 16 and 20. Statistics cite lack of driving experience and immaturity as the main causes of accidents. As a teen driver, it becomes important to understand and know your limitations as a driver and prepare for them. For tips on driving and safety, check out these sites:

Child Passenger Safety

State laws determine how children of certain ages and weights must be protected. Children 12 and under are not to sit in the front seat. When an airbag deploys, it comes out of the dash at 200 miles an hour. Children under 12 must be in the back seat and children twenty pounds and under must also be secured in a rear-facing child seat. Car booster seats are for children not big enough to be properly protected by a seat belt restraint system. For more information on seat belts and child passenger safety visit these sites:

Seasonal Safe Driving
Driving on dry pavement isn't the same as driving in wet, icy or snowy conditions. While it is important to gain experience driving in all conditions, it's also important to know how to handle the automobile during the different seasons. Always drive under the speed limit during adverse conditions. Review these sites for more information:

Senior Driver Safety

Senior drivers can be safety hazards to other drivers, as they don't always see as well, nor have the ability to respond quickly. All drivers must learn to be defensive drivers. This means that besides monitoring your own driving habits, it's important to always pay attention to what other drivers are doing so that you can respond appropriately. Ignoring what other drivers are doing can result in a serious accident. Learn to drive defensively—and have your attention on the road, not what's going on inside the car. Never talk on a cell phone or text while driving.

Car Accident Checklist

Before taking a car out onto the road, always check that you have your license, the car's registration and insurance information inside the vehicle. Confirm you have a small insurance card available so you know whom to contact in the event of an accident. Review these "accident" checklists and other information before driving:

School Bus Safety
When you approach a school bus, you must pay attention to its lights and what it's doing. Most states have laws that indicate when a bus is stopped and its lights flashing, you cannot pass it or go around it. This is because children are leaving the bus and may be crossing the street. Obey the rules of the road and stay safe—which also means paying attention to what is going on around you. Review this information to help you stay safe while driving:

Safety Studies & Statistics

Safety studies and statistics report that teens driving late in the day or during the night seem to have more accidents than at any other time. Statistics also show that teens that have other teens in the car have more accidents than those who don't. Some state laws prevent teens having any other riders in the car until they reach a certain age. Statistics don't lie—always pay attention to the road and never assume what another driver is going to do. Check out these statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2009 about teen drivers:

  • 2,336 Teen drivers aged 15 to 20 died in motor vehicle accidents.
  • Teen drivers ages 15 to 20 accounted for 11 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.
  • 5,148 teens, 15 to 20 were involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents.
  • 33 percent of the teen drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents had been drinking.
  • 28 percent of the teen drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents had blood alcohol levels of 0.08, considered as drunk driving.

Drinking and driving is illegal across the United States for everyone. If you are drinking and driving and get caught, you can lose your license indefinitely. Never drink and drive. For more information on teen driving statistics, review the information on these sites:

Auto Theft Prevention

Being a safe driver also means paying attention to where you park, using auto theft prevention devices and locking your car when you leave it. Never leave your keys in the car and the car running at any time. This is an open invitation for anyone to take your vehicle. Most vehicles have a form of theft deterrent where the vehicle's horn goes off when the theft prevention device is armed. When leaving your car in a parking lot, park under lights and always pay attention to the neighborhoods in which you park. Never leave your car unlocked or open.

For more information on teens and driving, visit any one of these sites:

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