A teen driver drives an automobile swiftly pass you. You’re surprised how fast, and recklessly the automobile was speeding.
Though the automobile that just passed you wasn’t going 100 miles per hour, its speed was definitely inappropriate. Worse, what happened didn’t occur on a freeway, it took place on a city street.
Like most adults in that situation, you shake your head in bewilderment. It wasn’t the first time that happened, nor will it be the last. And if you’re a parent (with a teen driver) who saw what I just explained, it’s hard not to have the following thought…
“How does my teen driver handle the automobile when he or she knows I’m unable to see or know? How can I know when my teen driver speeds?”
If your teen driver drives the automobile faster than you suspect he or she should, you can know when it happens.
More importantly, you can do something effectively to stop it. But let us first get realistic about what you’re dealing with…
Your teen driver doesn’t speed all the time when driving the automobile. On the flip side, here’s a fact that’s also true…
Your teen driver drives above the speed limit more than you already know. Matter-of-fact…
“How your teenager drives when you aren’t looking isn’t the same when your teen driver thinks you are.”
The solution to stop your teen driver from speeding or driving the automobile recklessly is found in a combination of steps you can take.
Together, they lead toward your teen driver handling the automobile in ways you would approve.
So, let me ask some questions for you to answer yourself, and see where we are…
- Have you completed a Teen Driver’s Contract between you and your new teen driver?
- Did you enroll your teen driver in a professionally certified driver’s school (or did you train him/her yourself)?
- If you suspect that your teen driver speeds driving the automobile, did you install in the vehicle an electronic speed monitoring device or an GPS locator that can track the whereabouts of the automobile your teen is driving?
- If your teen driver was caught speeding, and issued by law enforcement a citation, was there a reprimand from you that included a severe restriction driving?
- Do you speed when driving the automobile?
- Does your teen driver have any financial responsibility paying automobile insurance?
When my sons were new teen drivers, my wife and I assumed our teenagers wouldn’t be foolish taking risks driving I saw other teens take. We judged our new teen driver sons atypical because of the time, and effort we put into their training, as well as how we raised them.
But based on what I read, and learned about teen driver accidents, and fatalities, it was clear teens of all races, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and sex, had the highest fatality rate driving automobiles.
If that wasn’t enough, it was clear insurance companies weren’t all that happy about my teenagers being licensed drivers. My auto insurance payments skyrocketed, which only meant insurance companies understood how high a risk new teen drivers were.
Finally, after taking a realistic look at what my teen drivers enjoyed watching on television, what they invested their time doing on the computer, and enjoyed playing on video games, my wife and I concluded that our teenagers were typical teens.
That, frankly, is when we changed how we saw our teenagers as young drivers.
We assumed (whether we had evidence or not) that they were vulnerable to mistakes teen drivers made, especially speeding.
From that point forward, we got busy and clamped down hard making sure they did not fall victim to the physical handicap, or tragedy speeding could cause.
As a result, we created a list based on a few assumptions, and based on those assumptions, we came up with some effective ways to cut down, if not eliminate, teen driver speeding.
Here were our assumptions, and the actions we took to deal with them. (I added recommendations now available to parents of teen drivers who speed not available a few years back)…
- New teen drivers overestimate their skills driving an automobile. They believe themselves better drivers than they are… As a result, we found a way for them to drive an automobile with skills beyond what we could teach them, or what they could learn on their own.
- New teen drivers take risks driving an automobile experienced drivers learned not to take. Speeding unnecessarily to pass another automobile, beat a traffic light, or developing a habit speeding, or accelerating fast, are just a few.
- New teen drivers don’t tell the truth (or confess) that they speed. The question whether teens lie is not the issue, but having factual information when your teen driver drivers the automobile at speeds you judge unacceptable helps stop it.
A lot of what I’m about to share with you is what my wife and I effectively did with our teen drivers to slow their driving.
I’m also going to give you information and resources you can use today, which weren’t available when our teen drivers were new.
The first 18 months after your new teen driver earns a driver’s license is when his or her judgment driving (and speeding) should worry you the most. During that period, a new teen driver’s emotions driving an automobile generally overrules their better, logical judgment.
But what’s new about that? Nothing. Emotions overruling logical judgment play themselves out weekly in a teenager’s life. Whether related, or unrelated to driving an automobile.
A teen driver is an inexperienced driver the first 18 months driving compared with the type of driver he or she will be 3, 5, or 10 years from now.
Here are at least three common teen-things new drivers do or think…
- Teen drivers know speeding or driving recklessly is hazardous and dangerous, but they do it even though their skills are raw or too inexperienced to handle a sudden emergency.
- Peer pressure to do what’s cool or risky overrides the voice of reason screaming inside their heads to do what’s right and safe.
- Teen drivers mistakenly believe that their skills driving are better than they realistically are… in other words, they’re painfully out of touch how inexperienced they are.
Why new teen drivers do what they do, I could go on and on… but I’m here to give you solutions how to stop or prevent speeding.
One more tidbit of information about teen drivers then I’ll get on with it…
Right before and since creating Drive Home Safe.com, I periodically conducted an informal survey.
Each time an automobile drove swiftly pass me above the posted speed limit, I recorded whether the driver was a teenager. Guess what?
72% of the time the person driving the automobile speeding was a teen driver.
Just like you, worrying about keeping my new driver safe wasn’t enough. I took steps to do something about it.
My reality dealing with new teen drivers operating the automobile faster than they should, struck home soon after my sons passed road tests for their driver’s license.
Like most responsible parents, I didn’t let them loose on the road immediately after they got their licenses. I spent a few weeks supervising their driving.
Of course, I knew the day would come when my teen drivers would want more independence driving cars and trucks.
After an extensive period of supervising their driving, each of my sons (who are twins) told me enough is enough. They felt ready to drive solo.
So, like all parents who turn the keys over to their new teen drivers, I gave them my blessing after I felt that they were ready.
What I hoped wouldn’t happen did…
Within weeks after my new teen drivers were driving solo, I realized they knew enough about driving to be a hazard to themselves (and others).
What does that mean?
- Technically, they knew how to drive an automobile. ( I made sure of that).
- On the surface, they appeared to be able drivers. They could drive an automobile as well at night as they could in daylight.
- Our new teen drivers could do everything fundamentally necessary or legal to drive an automobile. What they didn’t have and desperately needed was experience and good judgment, which time and maturity could only provide.
As I mentioned earlier, teen drivers with less than 18 months driving are inexperience drivers.They get into situations, and do things operating an automobile outside their range of skill and experience to handle. Speeding, and driving recklessly are two misjudgments new drivers do.
Though I was confident that my new teen drivers could technically drive, I underestimated how much time it realistically took them to gain good on-the-road judgment and experience. I discovered that my sons were heavy footed pedal pushers, very similar to what you may suspect your teen driver having.
To get our arms around the problem, my wife and I did the following:
And, because of what’s available today that wasn’t just a short time ago, I’ve thrown in for you a few up-to-date strategies you can do to keep your teen driver safe. Some of these I hope you’ve already implemented…
- Negotiate a Teen Driving Contract.
- Establish a basis of mutual agreement and understanding.
- Eliminate distractions that get in the way of solving the problem of speeding.
For example, we temporarily stripped the car of its stereo system.
Anticipate and Directly confront peer pressure issues and circumstances teen drivers are naturally under.
- Sometimes friends of your new teen driver influence your teenager’s behavior in ways you wouldn’t approve.
- Their influence over our kids is subtle, but persuasive. When you notice it, deal with it directly.
- The peer pressure they put on your new teen driver urges your teenager to drive in ways that causes automobile accidents). Put into the automobile an easy-to-use Electronic Monitoring Unit to know if the automobile is speeding or driven recklessly.
These things are remarkable. They can record when the automobile is driven irresponsibly.
Your goal is to stop, or prevent your teen driver from speeding. The best way to do that is for he or she to know that you can tell when the automobile is driven irresponsibly.
(If it bothers you that your teen driver may cry invasion of privacy, get over it and don’t let it stop you. Preventing an automobile accident is what parenting is about. Bottom line, this is not a trust issue, it’s about protecting your teen driver from misjudgments teens too often make when driving).
Establish geographic boundaries:
- Your teen driver travels within them, and they expand as driving experience grows. Try driving separate automobiles when going to the same destination. Your teen driver(s) in one, you in the other.
- Our teen drivers liked this arrangement. It fed into their teenage need for independence.
- However, my wife and I did it to gauge how our teen drivers really drove when we weren’t in the same automobile with them.
- Don’t take Speeding Tickets or Moving Violations lightly, especially when it occurs more than once.
- Put responsibility on our teen drivers to financially pay the consequences of their poor driving behavior.
- In our case, our new teen drivers paid their automobile insurance. We paid their monthly car payments.
- When they messed up by driving in ways that caused their insurance rates to increase, they felt it financially. When their insurance premium payment rate decreased due to responsible driving, they benefited.
All of the above implemented together persuades, actually forces, a new teen driver to slow down. They collectively help you overcome the urges in a teen driver to do something unwise and hazardous.
No More Reckless Teen Driving. Teen driving statistics you should monitor & know…
- 14% of all deaths due to motor vehicle accidents are teen drivers.
- Most teen driver deaths due to motor vehicle accidents occur on weekends 53% of the time.
- Teen drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents had a youth passenger in automobile 45% of the time.
- Of teen drivers fatally injured in automobiles, more than 1/3 were speed related accidents.
- More than any age group, teens are likely to be involved in a single vehicle crash.
- This age group makes up 7% of licensed drivers, but suffers 14% of fatalities and 20% of all reported accidents.
…You worry because the facts speak for themselves…!