St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

By Joe DiFeo 

Teen Driver Safety

 

February 1, 2020 | View PDF



Learning to drive is an exciting rite of passage for teens, and safety is understandably top of mind for parents and guardians. Statistics show that teens are 3 times more likely to be in a crash than drivers over 20. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics some of the top risk factors for adolescent drivers are inexperience, teen passengers, and distraction.

Florida has a graduated driver licensing program for teens that helps address the risks of inexperience. At 15 a teen can get a learner’s permit which enables them to drive with a licensed driver of 21 or over. Before getting their provisional license at the age of at least 16 they must complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice with a licensed adult. This requirement should not be taken lightly - the adage practice makes perfect applies. Provide important coaching, instruction, and time for supervised practice driving.

Studies have shown that the likelihood of a teenager being involved in a fatal car crash is directly related to the number of teen passengers. Teen passengers contribute to risk through distraction and negative peer influence on driving behaviors like speeding, risky driving, and alcohol use. Once your teen has graduated to their provisional license, it’s important to monitor who, why, and where they are driving!

We’re all aware of the danger that texting and driving, however anything that takes our eyes off the road, removes our hands from the wheel, or diverts our attention is a risk. This includes changing the music, checking navigation, eating and drinking, grooming, and even talking to a passenger. We need to model the practice of avoiding distracted driving for our teens and emphasize the risks to help keep them safer on the road.

We can never entirely eliminate the risk of a crash, so it’s important that teens are driving a car that minimizes injury in the event of a crash. The Volkswagen Jetta was rated “Best New Car for Teens” in 2019 by US News and World Report and earned the coveted five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2013 or newer Volkswagen Passat was recommended as a “Best Choice Used Vehicle For Teens” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If you’re looking for a safe car for your teen we’d love to help you at Volkswagen of Saint Augustine!

“We can never entirely eliminate the risk of a crash, so it’s important that teens are driving a car that minimizes injury in the event of a crash. The Volkswagen Jetta was rated “Best New Car for Teens” in 2019 by US News and World Report and earned the coveted five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

Joe DiFeo operates Volkswagen of St. Augustine, the newest new car dealership in St. Augustine, and one of eighteen DiFeo family dealerships on the East Coast. This article was excerpted and adapted from his book– The Insider’s Guide to How and Where to Buy a Car: Strike a Deal at the Dealership. You can find it on Amazon or better yet stop by Volkswagen of St. Augustine for a free copy! Volkswagen of St. Augustine • http://www.VWStAug.com • 904-606-1775

 
 

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