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Herald Journal Guides
Automotive Guide
Serving the tri-county area of McLeod, Wright, and western Carver

Rules for newly licensed teens


The following are bits of advice about newly licensed teen drivers from the Minnesota Department of Commerce,

For parents, it may a be a good idea to establish rules for newly licensed teens

· Statistics show that the leading cause of death in Minnesota's 15 to 17 year olds is traffic crashes. The top six driving risk factors for teens are:

· Inattentiveness - Driver inattention/distraction is the most common contributing factor in multiple vehicle crashes

· Excessive speed - Illegal/unsafe speed is the most common contributing factor in single vehicle crashes for drivers. Teens particularly have difficulty adjusting speed to driving conditions. 

· Failure to wear a safety belt - Properly wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger occupants by 45 percent in a car and 60 percent in a light truck.

· Fatigue - A person who has been 24 hours experiences impairment nearly equal to a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent. And, teens often don't get enough sleep.

· Not checking traffic before pulling out  - Most crashes involving teens occur at intersections because of their inexperience judging distance and speed.

· Driving with other teens - The presence of passengers strongly increased crash risk. For teen drivers, the more passengers the greater the risk.

How to Instruct Your Teen Driver

· Ask your teen's driving instructor for advice to make effective use of your practice time.

·Plan what skills you will be working on before practice begins.  Work from basic to more complex skills.

· Make sure your teen is familiar with all of the controls of the vehicle.

· Keep early lessons short, about 10-15 minutes.

· Start practicing with only you and your teen in the car--no other passengers.

· Make sure that you give directions well in advance of the maneuver you want performed.

· Let your teen practice under many different driving conditions, including driving at night.

· As your teen advances, let them do "commentary driving."  In this technique, your teen describes what s/he is observing while driving.

· Look for the positive in your teen's driving and let them know about it.

· Set a good example with your own driving.

Automotive Guide
Published October 2003

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