The deadliest distractions for your teen driver

Timothy Smith, Author and Teen Driving Expert, shares advice for parents the most common crack risk distractions for teens so they can know what to warn their teenage driver to avoid
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The deadliest distractions for your teen driver

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Safe driving requires constant, focused attention. So developing a mindset of heightened awareness and focus is key to crash proofing your teen. And the easiest way to do that is eliminate and reduce as many distractions as you can. The single, deadliest distraction is cell phone, and all the others aren't even close. Texting while driving increases your crash risk 43x. Just talking on a cell phone quadruples your crash risk. And it doesn't matter whether it's hands free or not. Just the act of talking on a cell phone impairs brain function very similarly to having a .08 blood alcohol level - legally drunk. So the solution to this is simple, although it doesn't mean it's easy. It's fine for teens to have a cell phone in their car, but under no circumstances should you allow a teen to use that cell phone in any way, shape or form, period. Passengers are the next deadliest risk. Recent studies have shown that 2 or more passengers can, up to quadruple the crash risk of your teens. And remember the same goes for when your teen is a passenger with other teen drivers. So be aware about passengers as well. Don't worry about you being in the car as a passenger as well because, surprisingly, recent studies have shown that if you have a passenger in the front seat, especially if it's not a teen, that actually slightly reduces your crash risk, because you've got another set of eyes on the road. Now there are other distractions that you should try to eliminate or reduce, especially in the beginning parts of driver training - food, drink, navigation systems, radio - they all contribute to distractions. But collectively, they don't have near the impact of passengers, and most especially cell phones.
TEEN, Responsibilities, Driving

Timothy Smith, Author and Teen Driving Expert, shares advice for parents the most common crack risk distractions for teens so they can know what to warn their teenage driver to avoid

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Timothy Smith

Author & Teen Driving Expert

Timothy Smith is a healthcare executive living in the Chicago area with his wife and three children.   He got involved with teen driving several years ago when a number of teenagers were killed in multiple crashes near his home, virtually all due to driver error.   His search for information to help his teens avoid car crashes yielded little of value, so he became a certified driving instructor, got trained and licensed to race cars, took defensive driving courses and ended up writing Crashproof Your Kids: Make Your Teen A Safer, Smarter Driver.  He is also Chairman of Aegis Mobility, a software company which has developed technology to manage and reduce cell phone use while driving. 

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