Alberta & BC Rockies Teen Driving Tip
The leading cause of death among teens is car accidents. The teen driver is youthful, energetic, and assumes they are invincible. Yet, we still hear of a teen that got killed in a drag race, crashed into a tree or building drunk, or caught speeding though a school or playground zone.
Driving a car involves some basic physics. Travelling at 50 km per hour (13.9 m /sec) into a crash is the same as falling from a 4 storey building and hitting concrete. The same accident at highway speeds (100 km/hour) doubles the speed and quadruples the force of impact. The only thing saving you from crashing through a shattering windshield are your seatbelt and the airbag in front of you (and if you have a typical pre-2000 car, there's no airbag for the person in the passenger seat).
Here are some typical teen mistakes, not made by more experienced drivers:
- Always wear your seatbelt. Just think what flying through glass will do to your face and body.
- Don't talk on your cell phone while driving. It ties up half your brain and one of your hands. In many places, there are laws against driving and using a cellphone… there's a reason. Using a hands-free phone is better, but best is to pull over and stop to talk.
- Don't EVER drink and drive. Not even after just one drink. And don't be passengers in a car where another driver has been drinking.
- Don't let your passengers dare you to run red lights or drive faster. They're not the ones who go to jail, or pay the tickets.
- Don't drag race. You or your passenger can die, or an innocent bystander does when you lose control.
- Learn all the blind spots on your car by having someone slowly walk around the car as you watch in the mirrors
- Schedule your trips and your time so you don't have to rush, speed, or making hasty decisions in traffic
- Signal lane changes a few seconds before actually doing so, so other drivers can shift speed and direction accordingly
- Use the three-second rule when driving behind cars so that you won't crash into them when they stop suddenly. Give more time for trucks since the stop slower, and you can't see around them to anticipate their stopping.
- As the driver, you have authority & responsibility not to drive anywhere until ALL passengers are wearing seat belts. Never have more people in the car than seatbelts, either!