7 Most Common New Driver Mistakes

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New drivers lack the experience to judge their actions, to predict other's actions, and young drivers have cognitive differences still from adults. There are other things that set young drivers apart from older ones though. Here are the top 7 reasons young drivers crash:

  1. Driving too fast. - Young drivers tend to drive too fast, and to chose the wrong speed for the driving situations. They approach stops too quickly, and don't adjust correctly for weather and time of day.
  2. Following too closely - Especially when driving too fast.
  3. Drug and Alcohol use - Enough said there.
  4. Lack of proper positioning in the car and lack of seatbelt use - Putting a foot on the dash, driving with one foot bent under you, not wearing your seatbelt, these all cause increased injuries in a crash.
  5. Peer pressure - Novice teen drivers may not have the discipline to tell people to stop distracting them, and they don’t have the experience to know how dangerous the distraction is. Pressure can also be exerted from other drivers ‘pushing’ the novice to go faster, or to proceed through intersections by honking at them.
  6. Mismatching car style with driving ability -A teen doesn’t need a high horse powered performance car, and won’t be able to handle it at speed.
  7. Distraction – music, friends, food, and phones all distract drivers who need 100% of their brain power to drive safely.

MADD Canada reports that Road Crash is the leading cause of death in teenagers. They have the highest death rate per kilometer driven. Drugs and alcohol are factors in 55% of the car crashed in drivers 16-25. Their website records that drug impaired and drinking impaired driving are major problems in the youth driver cohort.

  • Older Teens: Of all the young drinking drivers who are killed or seriously injured, the smallest proportion is 16 years of age. The largest proportion is 19 years of age.
  • Males: Account for 87% of the young fatally injured drinking drivers and 89% of the seriously injured drinking drivers.
  • Summertime: Young drinking drivers are most likely to be killed or injured in the summer (32.4% and 40.8% respectively) and least likely to be killed or injured in the winter (8% and 11.4% respectively).
  • Weekend: A large percentage of young drinking drivers die or are seriously injured on the weekend.
  • Night time: The vast majority of young drinking drivers die or are seriously injured in crashes at night.
  • Automobiles: Most young drinking drivers are killed or seriously injured when driving an automobile.
  • Single-vehicle: Young drinking drivers are most likely to be involved in single-vehicle crashes.
  • At fault: In nearly two-thirds of the alcohol-related multiple vehicle crashes, it was the fatally injured teen driver who had been drinking and not the other drivers.
  • Crashes: By the time a driver reaches a blood alcohol content of .10%, he or she is 51 times more likely than a non-drinking driver to be involved in a fatal crash.
  • Nearly one third (32%) of teens did not consider driving under the influence of cannabis to be as bad as alcohol.
  • Nearly 25% of parents of teenagers did not consider driving while high on cannabis to be as bad as drinking and driving.

    from http://madd.ca/pages/programs/youth-services/statistics-links/

The importance of professional driver training, modelling good behavior at home, and supervising your kids with the car can’t be understated.