07 Jul Welcome to The Driving Dad’s Blog
Greetings and welcome to The Driving Dad’s Blog! I’m Bob Ragazzo, aka The Driving Dad.
In addition to being a Certified Defensive Driving Instructor, I am the Founder of 2 Driver- Training companies, as well as the newly formed
– the Parents’ Coalition to Stop Teen Driving Deaths NOW!
My most important role, however, is that of the father of 2 young men – Nick and Patrick, who also happen to be young drivers.
It may shock you to learn that car crashes are the #1 killer of 15-20 year olds in America.
If you’re like most people, you think of things like guns, drugs and alcohol as the biggest threats
to your child – not cars.
The reality is, teenage drivers are involved in over 800,000 crashes per year resulting in 3000 lost lives. (www.rita.dot.gov)
No one is happy with this number; not parents, law enforcement officials, politicians or the kids themselves, but just as troubling (and far less publicized) is the number of injuries left behind by these crashes.
Car crashes are the cause of more than 300,000 injuries to our young drivers (and their passengers) each year – many of them permanent and life-changing! (Imagine the pain of having to teach your kid to walk and talk all over again at 18 or 19 years old.)
So, what is the root cause of the problem?Well, POOR TRAINING for starters.
Drivers’ Ed hasn’t changed much in 20 years, and doesn’t teach our kids to drive safely. It focuses mainly on the physical operation of the vehicle and teaches them JUST ENOUGH to pass the driving test. (That’s when it really gets dangerous)
While the physical operation of the vehicle is important, physical errors account for only 1 in 10 crashes.
Driving is 90% mental, as proven by the fact that 9 out of 10 car crashes are caused by mental error (www.nhtsa.gov) with the main culprits being speeding, tailgating and an overall lack of focus while driving.
In short, our kids are lousy drivers – but it’s not their fault! They simply aren’t being trained to drive in the areas where it counts most.
Every teenager should begin training in the Mental Aspects of driving at least 1 Year before they are permit-eligible (age 13, 14 or 15, depending on where you live).
Notice that I say TRAINED not TAUGHT. Teaching them to drive is only the first step. Driving is instinctive and safe driving habits can only be established through repetitive training.
We can’t talk or pledge this problem away. Our kids can promise and pledge good driving behavior until they’re blue in the face, and really mean it – at the time.
BUT, when the teenaged (or any age) driver is in the heat of the moment, his or her instincts and habits take over, and these willdetermine if the driver gets home safely, not the pledge they signed to make you happy.
It’s pretty straightforward:
►When we want our kids to do well in school we help them form good study habits
►If they want to succeed in sports – they learn quickly that good practice and training habits are essential.
Driving is no different. (To paraphrase that old political joke, Teenage drivers need to Train Early and Train Often)
The good news is that mental errors can be corrected, and a significant percentage of crashes and the devastation they leave behind can be virtually eliminated with the proper additional training. (Watch for a future blog post on the 6 Key Areas of Driving.)
As a fellow parent, I urge you to stop being a victim of the current inadequate training system. Join the Movement and start taking control of your teenage driver’s safety – RIGHT NOW!
For a step-by-step plan of action DOWNLOAD our Free Parent’s Blueprint
[callout type=”left” title=”Download Our Free Parent’s Blueprint” message=”A step by step guide to keeping your teenage driver alive.” button_text=”Download Now” href=”http://www.stopteendrivingdeaths.org/download-our-free-parents-blueprint/”]