Fleet drivers should be aware the summer brings with it a cadre of inexperienced motorists and research shows that new teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly collision, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
For fleets, a focus on defensive driving is more important than ever during the warm weather months. In fact, defensive driving could save a fleet driver’s life.
More than 7,000 people lost their lives in teen driving-related summertime crashes from 2010 to 2019. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is now known as the 100 Deadliest Days — with more than seven people killed daily in collisions as compared to six during the rest of the year.
As teens take to the highways and byways this summer, it’s a good time to remind your drivers of defensive driving best practices. Here are some tips to share:
- Be aware of your surroundings — don't count on other drivers to be aware of you — especially new motorists. Check mirrors frequently for other vehicles and look ahead, too, for traffic flow or obstructions in the road.
- Keep a safe following distance — inexperienced drivers may have a tendency to hit the brakes or drive at inconsistent speeds. Be extra vigilant about sticking to your three- to four-second rule.
- Eliminate distractions — as always, stow the cell phone, don't eat or drink behind the wheel, and set your GPS before you start your engine. Keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Staying focused can help you react quickly and stay safe in the event an inexperienced driver makes a bad move.