It can be extremely stressful when you are the parent of a teenage driver. Unfortunately, teenagers are at a significantly high risk for auto accidents and fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents caused eight deaths a day in 2009 for teens between the ages of 16 and 19. Teaching teenagers responsibility and proper driving techniques can greatly help decrease these tragic accidents.
There are several outdated driving rules that our auto accident attorneys would like parents to stop teaching teens.
- Old Rule: Hands at 10 and 2 o’clock position
Over the years, experts have taught drivers to place their hands on the steering wheel at “10 and 2” o’clock. However, it’s actually safer to drive with your hands at “9 and 3,” because it allows for a full 180-degree turn. While some experts also recommend an “8 and 4” position, this can cause driver fatigue and be dangerous for drivers 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,” says 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
Some parents mistakenly teach teens to use the left foot for braking and the right for acceleration. This causes the driver to shift their body weight, which results in off-balance driving maneuvers. It also causes drivers to ride the brake and confuse the motorists behind them. It’s much safer to use the right foot for both the brake and gas pedals.