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New survey pinpoints mistakes that lead to auto accidents

Anytime a person is inexperienced at something, they are bound to make mistakes while trying to do that thing. Driving is no exception, but the stakes can be very high for inexperienced drivers because mistakes can lead to deadly auto accidents.

Most teenagers do not have a lot of practice driving by the time they get their driver's license, and a new survey by AAA indicates that parents are not preparing their children to drive as thoroughly as they once did. The AAA survey, which involved 142 driving instructors, also pinpointed three of the most common mistakes that teenagers make when they are learning to drive.

The first mistake is that teenagers tend to improperly scan the road for danger. Instead, they drive with tunnel vision, which can lead to them being unable to spot and avoid certain hazards. Another common mistake is speeding. Teenagers often not only drive faster than the posted speed limit, but they may also drive too fast for the particular road conditions. Finally, the AAA survey showed that teen drivers succumb to distractions like using their cellular phone or talking to other individuals in the vehicle.

Teaching teenagers to drive safely is critical, and the data shows just how big of a danger that under-prepared teen drivers can pose to themselves and others. During the past five years, for example, almost 14,000 fatal auto accidents involved teenagers. Also, most of those who suffer injuries or death in an accident involving a teen driver are people other than the teen driver.

Regardless of how experienced or prepared a teenager, they may still be responsible for the consequences if they cause a car accident. This means that the negligent teenaged driver, or their parents, may be held legally responsible to injured victims for damages like medical expenses and lost wages.

Like anything else in life, practice and experience can make a big difference when it comes to driving. So, too, can learning how to drive safely and avoid common dangerous driving habits.

Source: AAA NewsRoom, "Speeding One of Top Deadly Mistakes Made by Teen Drivers," Tamra Johnson, Oct. 12, 2016

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