5 Common Teen Driving Mistakes

October 14, 2015

teen driving mistakes

image courtesy of Nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net

At Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, we understand teenagers. There are teens in many of our employees’ families and, of course, we were there at one time, too! So the driving mistakes that teens make are familiar to us. That’s why we’d like to pass on what we know to you and your teens. We want them to enjoy the pleasure and freedom of the road without the often tragic consequences of a serious accident.

So here are 5 mistakes that teens (and unfortunately some older drivers) often make…

One of the pleasures teens get from driving is the tremendous feeling of power from a fast moving car. The thing is, they don’t think about the length of time it will take to stop the car quickly. Anything can happen to interrupt you while driving: a runner appears to the side, another car drifts thru a stop sign, or an animal dodges in front of you.

Best advice for inexperienced drivers regarding speed is to get used to driving before you even think about going over the speed limit. Don’t let the “joy” of speed dictate your driving habits. You won’t regret slowing down, we guarantee it.

Distracted Driving 
OK, we realize every kid has a cell phone. And they’re on it all the time. (Can you imagine back in the day when your parents and grandparents only used phones in the house? Cave man days!)

Check out this website for some tough advice as to texting and driving. The best way we’ve found to describe what happens when you text and drive is this: Sending one text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, this means you drive the length of a football field while looking down at your phone!

Following Too Close
It is amazing how far a car will travel from the time you decide to stop to the physical act of applying the brakes and actually coming to a complete stop. And the faster you’re driving the shorter the amount of time available to you to avoid a collision. The rule of thumb here is, drive one car length behind the person in front of you for every 10 mph you are going. Example: 3 car lengths for 30 mph, 5 car lengths for 50 mph.

Peer Pressure
We get it, impressing your friends is important. That’s fine, but when behind the wheel of a car, better safe than sorry. That’s because sorry can be so tragic. Getting a text from another one of the gang while driving, driving after having a few drinks, laughing and talking when you should be concentrating on the road all lead to accidents.

Over Confidence
When you get right down to it, pressing a gas pedal is pretty easy. The car goes where you steer it and pretty much stops when you want. You might tend to forget in the comfort of today’s newer vehicles that there’s more to driving than just going and stopping.

It’s easy to become over confident in your driving ability. You may forget to check your side view mirrors. When changing lanes to the right you must remember to look quickly over your right shoulder.

You shoulld be constantly on the lookout for unforeseen obstacles: animals, pedestrians, texters coming at you in your lane. Experience is a wonderful teacher, especially when it comes to driving a car. You don’t have that experience yet, so you must drive slower and more cautiously than a more seasoned driver.

There’s more to teen driving and the common mistakes teens make that can lead to tragic consequences. We’ll cover those in a future post. But for now, we urge to you treat your newfound freedom in driving with the utmost respect…we want you as a customer of ours for a long time to come.

Until next time,
The SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or complete our Request a Quote form.