ATLANTA, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (1), the deadliest days of the year for teens aged 15 to 19 are in the summer months of June, July, and August. As summer approaches, AutoTrader.com, the ultimate automotive marketplace, aims to draw parents' attention to this issue by outlining important tips to help parents keep teens safe while driving this summer.
"Most safe driving tips are packed full of ideas that seem obvious to most people; however, what seems obvious to an adult with even a few years of driving experience, may not be obvious to a teen driver," said Brian Moody, automotive expert at AutoTrader.com. "At AutoTrader.com, we review and test-drive nearly every car on the market, and safety is always a top feature we look for. It is imperative for parents to equip their teens with the right tools, technology and education on how to be a safe driver."
- Pick the Right Car. Keeping teens safe on the road starts with ensuring they have the right car. While many teens inherit their parent's vehicle as their first car – mainly due to simplicity and cost efficiency – parents should step back and thoughtfully consider their choice, keeping safety top of mind. For example, SUVs and trucks behave differently on the road than coupes and sedans. A teen driver may lack the skills to cope with evasive maneuvers in a big truck. Parents should opt for something that sits close to the ground (to minimize rollover risk) and something that isn't overly powerful.
- Educate Teens on Car Maintenance. With the radio playing the summer's top tunes, it's easy for teens to miss important car maintenance signs; therefore, parents should add car maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and fluids, to their list of things to discuss with their teens. Even if just one tire has low pressure, it can dramatically change the way a car handles. Also, parents should be sure that their teen drivers check all fluids like window washing fluid, coolant, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Making sure these fluids are properly maintained can help prevent a breakdown far from home.
- Say it Again: Seatbelts Save Lives. Obvious tip? Not to one in every seven drivers that still don't wear their seatbelts (2). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (2), automotive accidents are the number one cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 5 to 34. Furthermore, the CDC says that drivers who buckle their seat belts cut their chances in half of being seriously injured or killed in a crash (2). Reiterate the importance of wearing a seatbelt, and note that technology can also help. For example, some Ford vehicles can be equipped with the MyKey feature, making it possible for parents to limit certain aspects of their teen's car. With MyKey, top speed, radio volume and seatbelt chime parameters can be altered.
- Discourage Distracted Driving. According to Distraction.Gov (3), cell phone use was reported in 18% of distracted-related fatalities in America. Additionally, having multiple passengers, changing iPod tracks or operating the car's navigation system can be just as dangerous. Parents should discuss all the ways drivers can be distracted with their teens to help keep them safe on the road.
- Discourage Over-Use of Cruise Control. Cruise control can work well on long trips and may even limit driver fatigue. However, teen drivers who may be more likely to stay out late should limit the use of cruise control at night. The lack of engagement might lead to a slightly drowsy driver falling asleep more quickly.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts millions of unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates one other auto marketing brand, AutoTraderClassics.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com), HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.
(1) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://fastlane.dot.gov/2011/05/national-youth-traffic-safety-month-a-reminder-to-teens-safe-driving-doesnt-take-the-summer-off.html
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p0104_vitalsigns.html
(3) Distraction.Gov: http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/index.html