When you’re the parent of a teenage driver, it can be stressful every time they get behind the wheel. This is because teenagers are at a dangerously high risk for auto accidents and fatalities. In 2009, motor vehicle accidents were responsible for eight deaths a day for teens between the ages of 16 and 19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In order to help reduce these tragic statistics, it’s important to teach teenagers the right driving techniques.
Our auto accident attorneys want parents and new drivers to avoid these outdated driving rules.
- Old Rule: Hands at 10 and 2 o’clock position
It’s been popular to teach new drivers that hands need to be positioned at “10 and 2” o’clock on the steering wheel. However, it’s much safer for motorists to use a “9 and 3” method, since it allows for a full 180-degree turn. Despite some popular opinions, “8 and 4” positions are not recommended. It can result in driver fatigue and make turning maneuvers difficult for those with larger chests and stomachs.
- Old Rule: Following 2 Seconds Behind
“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,” Scott Mann says, 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: Brake with the Left Foot
Some teens are mistakenly taught to use the right foot for acceleration and the left for braking. However, this results in a weight shift that causes on off-balance driving maneuver. Riding the brake also confuses other motorists, which might lead to an accident. Drivers are encouraged to work the brake and gas pedals with the right foot only.