Princeton, NJ (PRWEB) May 16, 2011
According to the Center for Injury Prevention and Control, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, responsible for claiming over 3,000 young lives each year. However, most teen accidents can be easily avoided. May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month, and accordingly, CURE Auto Insurance provides tips for both teens and parents to ensure teens stay safe behind the wheel.
“In an effort to raise awareness about the grave importance of safe driving habits, CURE has developed a teen driving safety program,” said Eric Poe, Chief Operating Officer of CURE Auto Insurance. “We’re delivering interactive, informative presentations in local high schools throughout New Jersey with the hopes that the startling statistics we share and the easy-to-follow tips we offer will help prevent potentially fatal accidents.” CURE’s free-of charge, hour-long teen driving safety presentations cover the following important driving safety tips.
Safe Driving Tips for Teens:
1. Put your cell phone away. While it seems harmless to send a quick text, statistics show that using a cell phone while driving delays a driver’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit. Next time you’re tempted to use your phone while driving, ask a passenger to send a text for you or pull off to the side of the road if it is urgent.
2. Avoid multi-tasking. According to the NHTSA, over 5,000 people died in 2009 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and nearly half a million additional people were injured. Don’t attempt to accomplish too much while behind the wheel. Stay alert and reduce distractions. Fight the urge to eat while driving, choose a CD, iPod playlist, or radio station to listen to before you pull out of the driveway, and refrain from discussing in-depth topics with your friends until you’ve reached your destination.
3. Buckle up. Despite being the most at-risk group for accidents, teens have lower seatbelt use rates than adults. Seatbelts have been proven to double your chances of surviving a crash. Take charge by letting your friends know when they get into your car, you won’t drive until everyone has a seatbelt fastened.
4. Know your car. The more comfortable you feel in handling your vehicle, the easier it will be for you to focus on driving and to cope in stressful situations. Learn how to properly maintain your car and be aware of the meanings of all indicator lights on your vehicle; simply refer to the vehicle’s owners manual if ever you are unsure. Keep both a maintenance and first-aid kit in your trunk, and add the numbers for AAA and local dispatch to your cell phone in case of emergencies. Knowing you’re prepared will calm your nerves.
5. Know where you’re going. Map out your route before you pull out of the driveway. Knowing where you’re going and how you plan to get there will prevent you from getting lost and eliminate some of the anxiety that comes with driving on unfamiliar roads. This will also help you avoid pulling out maps or reprogramming your GPS, both of which can take your mind off of the road and increase your accident risk.
While teens are inevitably responsible for the decisions they make behind the wheel, parents are instrumental in the development of safe teen drivers. The best drivers come from the combined efforts of teens and their parents. Therefore, it is crucial that every parent talks to their teen about safe driving habits. To aid in this process, CURE Auto Insurance also provides tips for parents of teen drivers.
Safe Driving Tips for Parents:
1. Encourage practice. The first 1,000 hours of driving are the most dangerous for teens. Therefore, while teens have their provisional licenses, allow them to practice as much as they can while you or a trusted adult is in the car. Not only will they get hands-on experience, but you will be there to guide them along, answering any questions and explaining difficult situations as they arise.
2. Be patient. No matter how smoothly things are going with your teen driver, mistakes can still be made. Although it may be hard, be patient; as long as no one was seriously hurt, most minor situations present valuable learning opportunities.
3. Set rules - and stick to them. Teens make safer choices about all sorts of behaviors when their parents pay close attention to them and communicate information openly and clearly. Make it known that rules are set in place for safety reasons, not control, and provide motivation for your teen to act responsibly.
4. Lead by example. Follow the rules of the road. Always wear a seatbelt, never use the phone while driving, don’t speed, and avoid multi-tasking. It is easier for teens to respect rules put in place if everyone in the family must follow them. Model the safe habits you want your teen to adopt.
5. Address auto-related costs. With a driver’s license comes great responsibility, including financial responsibility. Make sure your teen understands the importance of insuring a vehicle, and help them evaluate rate quotes. Also make sure your teen has a clear idea of how much it costs to fill up a gas tank and how often a gas tank needs to be filled. By accepting these responsibilities, your teen will become a more informed and responsible driver.
For more driving safety tips, please visit http://www.CURE.com or call 800-535-CURE. For information on how to have CURE’s Teen Driving Safety Program presented at your New Jersey high school, please contact Leann Moczydlowski at lmoczydlowski(at)randjpr(dot)com or 908-722-5757.
Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange, (CURE) is a not-for-profit reciprocal exchange headquartered in Princeton, N.J. Founded in 1990 by New Jersey Insurance Commissioner James J. Sheeran and award-winning insurance expert, Dr. Lena Chang as an answer to the insurance crisis in New Jersey, CURE continues to lead the way as the not-for-profit solution for responsible drivers and the "cure" for the continuously evolving auto insurance problems. CURE Auto Insurance is currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. More information can be found at http://www.CURE.com or by calling 800-535-CURE.
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