Advice For New Drivers From Young Drivers

Teens three times more likely to be in fatal auto accidents.

There have been a number of crashes lately involving teenage drivers. Nebraska statistics indicate that teens are involved in three times more fatal auto accidents than other drivers.

The scene always changes and we never know if there is danger around the next curve. It can be tough for experienced drivers and tougher yet on new drivers.

“It takes a driver about five years to become a seasoned driver,” says Bill Mulherin with the Health and Safety Council.

“The newer the driver, the less seasoned they are and the more susceptible they are to not recognizing hazards in time and becoming involved in collisions and this is something that develops over time and develops with practice.”

“I got my license January 12th,” says Marian High School sophomore Jane Watsabaugh. She says it’s a big transition going from driving with her parents to driving alone.

“You’re nervous and you want to make sure you leave enough space in front of you and other drivers and you want to drive slow and not speed or anything.”

Fifteen-year-old Hannah Christensen won’t get her license until June. She’s driving a lot with her parents now and remembers her first time behind the wheel.

“I was terrified. I was really scared because my dad took me on this narrow road and it kind of went through woods. It was really scary.”

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She says the changing scene while driving can be a little intimidating. “There are a lot of different distractions when you are driving. I never thought of half of them.”

“The classes you can take are great, but nothing can beat experience.” Marian High senior Ariel Talacko has been driving for a year-and-a-half and noticed a big difference in her driving in that short time.

“I’m definitely more of a defensive driver. I make an observation about what I see from all directions, not just in front of me. I also check behind me and to the sides just so I can see what’s going on.”

Good advice for young drivers from young drivers.

So how can parents get a little peace of mind when their teen drivers take off in the family vehicle? Mulherin suggests a contract between parents and their teen drivers that helps monitor and reward good driving skills.

The best thing parents can do to properly teach a young driver is to set the tone themselves.

“Most of the time they slide into the same errors that their parents have because that’s who they’re modeling, so parents, if you want your kids to drive safer than you, you need to model that behavior when you are in the car with them,” says Mulherin.



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