Teens need to study driving skills, too

by Jim Schwalen
For The Review

You may be surprised to learn that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. As school starts this fall, a new class of teen drivers will hit the road. Just as they spend time on schoolwork, sports and socializing with friends, teens should take time to practice driving skills. Here are key tips to keep in mind before your teens get behind the wheel:

Practice Driving at Night

It is important for teens to practice driving in all conditions. For every mile driven, the fatal crash rate for 16 to 19-yearolds driving at night is almost four times as high compared to daytime driving. Take your teen driving at night to practice and improve their comfort level and confidence.

Limit Distractions

According to a 2014 study by Distraction.gov, 3,179 people were killed in car accidents due to distracted drivers, and smartphones are a major culprit. To resist temptation, remind your teen to turn off the phone or pull over to accept incoming calls and texts.

Get Friendly with the Brake

Over a third of fatal teen-related driving accidents are caused by speeding and lack of caution. Make sure your teen keeps an eye out for road hazards and is aware of changing speed limits in residential, school and rural areas.

Consider Extra Training

Road America’s Teen Driving School, an advanced program that focuses on skills not taught in driver education courses, puts new drivers in common emergency situations in a safe, controlled environment. Visit www.roadamerica.com to view the class schedule and www.thesilverlining.com to learn more about tuition subsidy.

Jim Schwalen is the vice president of personal lines and marketing at West Bend Mutual Insurance Company.

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