Friday, January 6, 2012

Common Mistakes Made by Young Maryland Drivers

Maryland and Virginia teenage drivers are four times at greater risks for automobile accidents than older adults. Reasons include, inexperience dealing with emergency situations, distracted driving and the desire to show off. Below are some interesting findings and a further reason to have your teenager sign our Young Driver Contract.

Being distracted

Cell phones, CDs, food and text messaging, pose serious distractions to all drivers. Recent studies, however, with respect to teenage driving are revealing in this regard. First, one study done by State Farm Insurance reported 89% of teens noted they saw other teens driving and talking on their cell phones. Further, many have admitted during the same, and more than half said they observed their peers using ipods or text messaging while driving.

Any form of distraction increases the likelihood of a Maryland or Virginia car accident. In fact, a recent study of drivers in the Maryland and Virginia area concluded that distracted driving contributed to 80% of all collisions.

Taking risks

Risks include ignoring traffic signals, or school zone signs and changing lanes without checking blind spots. Teenage brains are predisposed to more risk taking. Recent studies have revealed that when confronted with risky choices, teenage brains exhibit twice as much activity in the impulse area.


Recent studies reveal that teenagers in the Maryland and Virginia area drive faster than all other drivers in the area as a whole. Speeding is the cause of one-third of the fatal motor vehicle accidents in the Maryland and Virginia area. This total is 50% more than the total for crashes for those 20 to 40 years old.

Overcrowding the car

A crowded car for a teenager results in more aggressive driving. A NIH study found that when accompanied by male passengers in the front seat, teens of both genders speed more and leave shorter following distances. The same trend exists for teenage girls driving with other girls. Worse yet, another study found that with two passengers Maryland and Virginia 16 year old drivers were at nearly twice the risk of having a fatal accident, and with three or more passengers the risk was nearly triple.

Driving under the influence

Recent studies reveal that approximately 40% of Maryland and Virginia high school seniors have drank alcohol in the last month. More problematic, however, is because teens take more chances after drinking, more than half of those in fatal accident were found to have not been wearing seatbelts.

Following too closely/Driving unbuckled

At 60 mph a typical car needs between 120 and 140 feet to stop. In fact, 60 mph translates to 88 feet per second. A recent study of teen drivers revealed that teenagers left less following distance behind the car ahead than other drivers. Worse, another study by NHTSA reported that approximately one quarter of drivers 16 to 24 do not wear seatbelts.

Inability to handle emergencies / driving drowsy

Knowing how to avoid an accident comes with driving experience. Young drivers make mistakes because they don't know how to apply the brakes correctly in certain situations, or are not aware of how to handle the car when it goes into a skid.

Drowsiness affects the kids who burn the candle at both ends, also known as "over achievers". It is a known fact that sleep deprivation contributes to thousands of automobile accidents in Maryland and Virginia each year.

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