It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week, and Michelin has launched a “Beyond the Driving Test” campaign to encourage everyone to share the best driving advice they ever got with the #SharingSafety hashtag.
Why is this campaign important? Automobile accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens in America, with more than 5,000 deaths each year (that’s nearly 14 teens lost per day to vehicle accidents). Here are a few stats pulled from Michelin’s survey on teen driving:
- The majority of drivers are confident in their own driving abilities (81 percent rank themselves highly), but 66 percent have felt unsafe when someone else was at the wheel.
- 73 percent have witnessed an accident, and 62 percent have been in an accident that someone else caused.
- 75 percent of drivers admit to “offering advice from the other seat.”
- The driving advice people receive most frequently includes signaling before changing lanes (75 percent) and staying in the right lane unless you’re passing (68 percent).
What’s the best driving advice WE ever got? We polled some of the Openbay team members for tips they were taught and/or have taught others. Here goes –
Alli, Openbay Member Services:
- Think about how much the speeding ticket would cost and decide if that’s worth getting somewhere a couple minutes earlier – it never is!
- And of course NO TEXTING!
Is that speeding ticket worth it?
- Learn lamaze breathing to avoid road rage. (I was a hot-tempered kid.)
- Buy snow tires.
- If you are a kid and must drink, call your parents for a rescue
Lamaze breathing could help you avoid road rage.
David, Openbay Product Management
- They used to recommend placing hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, but with airbags today, it’s better to keep your hands at 9 and 3.
- Eyes on the road, if they need to be somewhere else, pull over.
- First minutes of rain on the road are the slipperiest as the built-up oil and rubber on the road are slowly rinsed away.
- Bridges freeze first.
- Test your brakes when driving in wet conditions.
- Take the time to clean the snow off the roof of your car or truck – it can blind you, if you stop short or fly up and hit a vehicle behind you.
Emma, Openbay UX/UI
Flip flops are the most dangerous shoes to drive in since they can get caught under the pedal when driving, and it’s safer to drive barefoot in this case.
Driving shoes aren’t a must-have, but flip-flops aren’t ideal for driving.
Erin, Openbay Member Services
- Be sure not to rely on your side mirrors
- Always check twice before turning.
- No texting and driving!
Look out – there might be a kid chasing that ball in the road.
Mike, Openbay Dev
I was once told to drive as though everybody else on the road is a lunatic trying to intentionally crash into you. It forces you to think about “escape routes” when another car is coming at you, and how to be more aware of what other cars are doing at intersections.
Nate, Openbay Member Services
Never text and drive!
This foundation, Merritt’s Way, was started for my brother’s good friend, Merritt, who lost her life to a distracted driver.
Ryan, Openbay Dev
“It takes ~270 feet and 4.5 seconds to stop from 60mph… so don’t tailgate.”
Tailgating is never smart – it takes a lot longer to stop than you’d think. The short side of a NYC block is nearly 270 feet, which is how long you’d need to come to a stop from 60mph.
Sam, Openbay Member Services
Texting while driving makes a crash up to 23x more likely! If you absolutely have to respond, do it at a stop light and use voice-to-text!
Valentine, Openbay PR
The most important rule of driving is “Anticipate.”
Last but not least, one important element to driving safely is ensuring your vehicle is well maintained. Make sure your tires have a healthy tread and are properly inflated, and that your oil is changed regularly; that’s a good chance to get a professional mechanic’s opinion on what else your car or truck might need. When it’s time to repair or maintain your vehicle, head to Openbay, which empowers its members by delivering repair quotes from shops nearby, combined with an easy-to-use platform to schedule and pay for service.
Image credits: State Farm (teen driver), a Healthier Michigan (lamaze) osseous (flip flops), Gerry (ball), Jose Camões Silva (tailgating),