It’s a stressful time for parents when their teenager starts driving. Teen drivers are at an alarmingly high risk for traffic accidents and fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traffic accidents caused 8 deaths a day for teens between the ages of 16 and 19 in 2009 alone. This is why it’s so important to teach new drivers correct driving techniques.
In order to help reduce tragic fatalities, our auto accident attorneys want teen drivers to avoid these outdated driving rules.
- Old Rule: Hands at 10 and 2 o’clock position
New drivers have been commonly taught to drive with their hands at “10 and 2” o’clock on the steering wheel. However, “9 and 3” is a much safer alternative, because it allows for a full 180-degree turn. The “8 and 4” position is also popular, but it can cause safety hazards. This position may result in driver fatigue, and make turning difficult for motorists with large stomachs or chests.
- Old Rule: Two-Second Follow
“Most drivers were originally taught to follow 2 seconds behind the motorist in front of them. For better road safety, it’s recommended that drivers instead leave 3 to 4 seconds between vehicles,” explains Scott Mann, auto accident attorney. “While following the other vehicle, choose a fixed landmark such as a sign or building. If you reach the same landmark before you count to 3, then you are following too close. Giving yourself more time to react to inclement weather, road conditions, and heavy traffic can greatly increase safety — especially for inexperienced teen drivers.”
- Old Rule: Left-Foot Braking
Teenage drivers have been mistakenly taught to brake with the left foot and accelerate with the right. This is a major safety hazard. The driver’s weight is shifted, which causes driving maneuvers to be off-balance. Constantly riding the brake also means that other motorists have no idea when you’re actually stopping or slowing down. Braking and accelerating with the right foot only is a much safer alternative.
If you or your teenager have been involved in an accident, please call Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley for a consultation. Our auto accident attorneys are prepared to fight for your case!