Nothing spells fear to parents like the two words “teen driver”. According to the World Health Organisation, one in every four road accident deaths in Africa occurs in Nigeria, making Nigeria the most dangerous country to drive in Africa.Nigeria has also been ranked the second-highest in the rate of road accidents among 193 countries worldwide. Incase you need to be convinced further, some also say that next to Boko Haram, road deaths are the second highest cause of violent deaths in the country. Now who could blame parents for their fears? If you want your teens to be safe on the mean streets of Lagos, then keep reading for these 5 simple tips.
No Drinking and Driving
Adults usually know better and have a better sense of their drinking limits, but young teens need more guidance. Ensure your teen driver cultivates the good habit of always having a designated driver and prevent driving after drinking. Statistics show that twenty percent of 15- to 19-year-old drivers involved in deadly crashes had been drinking alcohol even though they were too young to legally purchase it.
Buckle Up (Safety first)
Yes, when it comes to driving in Lagos, it is a known fact that the fear of LASTMA is the beginning of wisdom. It is also a known fact that wearing seat belts saves lives. But wearing your seat belt shouldn’t only be done to avoid those arbitrary “fines” by LASTMA. Wearing your seat belt as a driver and as a passenger is a very good habit to adopt. In 2014, 53 percent of teens aged 15 to 19 killed in passenger vehicle crashes died because they weren’t buckled up.
No Phones Allowed (Stay focused)
Teen drivers are the most susceptible to distractions. Tell your teen driver that a text, BBM, Snapchat update or phone call can wait! Taking your eyes off the road for even one second can cause an accident and ultimately, a loss of life. In 2013, about 330 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted teen driver.
Slow and steady
Road conditions change instantaneously, and an inexperienced teen driver may not consider this. While they often feel invincible through life, we know that they are not. Encourage your teen driver to drive within the speed limits at all times since our Nigerian roads and road conditions are highly unpredictable. It is also a good idea to program the car to alert the driver when he/she reaches a certain speed. The alert will notify the driver that he’s driving above the speed limit and prompt him to slow down.
Practice makes perfect
It is advisable to allow your teen driver to get as much hands-on practice as possible. There are additional defensive driving classes they can take as well as online simulation courses which teaches the ins and outs of emergency braking, evasive maneuvers and much more.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and to be honest, there is no amount of practice that can prepare one for our mean Nigerian roads. The best thing you can do as a parent is lead by example and your children will also cultivate good driving habits.
Find the safest cars for your teen driver here