2 Kings 9:20b “: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. “
As many teens are headed back-to-school, many young, inexperienced drivers are headed off to use the car to get to college, high school and other activities. Before school season is back in full swing, these tips can help make them safer drivers than Jehu… 🙂
- Buckle up. Besides being the law, seat belts have been proven to save lives, but the message is not getting through to all young drivers. In fatal crashes of 16-20 year olds, 60 percent were unbuckled at the time of the crash. A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that these drivers were most likely to think that belts were potentially harmful.
- Hang up the phone. The risk of talking or texting while driving is high, especially for young people. Eleven percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted.
- Slow down. Teens tend to have the need for speed due to their impulsive nature and poor judgment. Thirty-seven percent of male drivers between the ages of 15-20 were speeding right before their fatal crash.
- Listen to Good Music. Many good teens fall prey to the Devil’s temptation of ungodly music. Make your car a haven of rest from the world. Pray, listen to the Bible, listen to good godly music that will uplift and encourage your Spirit. Work to keep your car pure from the evils of worldly music.
- Be prepared. Before you head out, especially on a long trip, pack an emergency kit in your trunk. Items such as a flashlight, jumper cables, and first-aid kit are helpful to have just in case.
- Limit night driving. Graduated driver licensing programs place limits on night driving and for good reason. In 2010, 17 percent of teenagers’ fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight, and 24 percent occurred between midnight and 6 a.m. So 41% of teen drivers fatalities occur after 9PM. If possible get where you are going during the daylight.
- Watch the weather. In inclement weather, it is even more dangerous for a young driver to be on the road due to their inexperience handling the car in those situations. Teach your child how to confidently handle weather challenges. Consider sending the teen to a driving school to learn car control techniques in a safe environment, preparing them to manage a skid or hydroplaning incident before they are faced with such challenges alone.
- Careful with Cargo. The more passengers in a vehicle the higher the fatal crash risk. With three or more, the fatal crash risk is about four times higher than when a beginner drives alone. Studies also show that teens with passengers are more likely to take risks and be distracted, and when things go wrong, the tragedy is multiplied. If you do have passengers, limit distractions and make sure they understand that you take driving serious.
- Create rules. In addition to your state’s graduated licensing program, set up a parent/teen contract and outline your own rules and penalties if they are broken. Curfew, phone use, passengers, etc.. Parents, take the keys away if necessary.
- Service Vehicle. If God has blessed you with a car, be sure to be faithful to church services, visitation, soul winning and everything the church has going. Encourage teens to not use what God has given them as a stumbling block.