Winter Road Safety: Teen Driving Awareness Month

Winter Road Safety: Teen Driving Awareness Month
Driving can be dangerous, but it can be even scarier when there is icy, slushy weather. January is Teen Driving Awareness Month and it is a perfect time to revisit some winter road safety tips. The sad fact is that newer drivers are in even greater danger on the roads.

What is the Purpose of Teen Driving Awareness Month?

As you can probably guess, Teen Driving Awareness Month is dedicated to spreading awareness about the risks associated with teen driving. It happens every January, which is great because it can put extra focus on Winter Road Safety.

Sadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year old teens in the United States. It also reports that each day, an average of six teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die in car crashes.

Winter Road Safety Tips

As many parents realize, driving safety is not a subject that teens are particularly keen on discussing. That said, much like teen drowning dangers, teen driving safety is a serious water safety-related subject. Below, we’ll show some basic tips for keeping safe on the road during icy conditions and beyond.

Texting and Driving: A Bad Combo Any Time of the Year

To start, our first tip will have little to do with winter road safety. It is general road safety! Using a phone while driving can have fatal consequences. Teens should be reminded to keep their phones safely stored away when driving. The majority of teenage driving accidents are caused by "distracted" driving. Texting, posting to social media or even conversing while driving can lead to a catastrophic disaster.

Drinking and Driving

Obviously, teens should not be drinking in the first place. That said, let’s be realistic. Kids don’t always do what they’re told and they love to rebel against the rules. For parents and guardians, it is critical that your children realize the dire repercussions of drunk or buzzed driving.

When you combine these with inclement weather and slippery roads, this becomes a recipe for disaster. A single occurrence might drastically alter or even end their lives. Make sure your children are aware of the dangers. Teen Driving Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity to emphasize these cautions.

Keep it Slow, Especially During Icy Conditions

All of these tips are a good idea to keep in mind all year round. Next, here is a tip that is especially important to winter road safety. It is never a good idea to drive too fast. On slippery roads, the peril greatly increases.

Teens (and adults!) should take it slow. Reducing speeds can help you to avoid any sudden acceleration or slides. The driver will retain more control this way, especially on shaky ground. After all, the last thing a driver wants is to slide into a river or ravine.

Keep Your Distance

Keeping all of this in mind, always maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the other cars on the road. Tailgating is hazardous at any time, but it can be especially deadly during a storm. If a sudden disaster strikes, the driver ahead of you may easily lose control or observe something you do not. Allowing more space between your cars allows both drivers to respond more quickly.

Don’t Leave the Vehicle if Stranded

During a storm, teens should be reminded not to stray from their vehicle. If a driver becomes stranded, the best course of action is to stay inside their vehicle and dial for emergency services. Stepping out into a blinding storm can result in you becoming lost or being hit by another driver.

Turn on your hazard lights and overhead safety lighting while you wait for help. To stay warm, run your car engine and heater in 10-minute bursts. Doing so at regular intervals can assist in saving gas and will reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To learn even more about winter road safety beyond these basics, read our full blog about driving in winter weather conditions.