Categorized | Opinion

Teach Your Teens How to Run Off the Road

By David Peel

Over Correction: West bound (towards left in diagram) vehicle, runs off road on North side, over corrects back to its left, then back to its right, then slides into a spin, until leaving the North side of the road, striking a tree, killing two teens.

Over Correction: West bound (towards left in diagram) vehicle, runs off road on North side, over corrects back to its left, then back to its right, then slides into a spin, until leaving the North side of the road, striking a tree, killing two teens.

That sounds like strange safety advice from an accident attorney and parent of teens. But it is critical.  Teens have great reflexes, lightning-quick reaction times, and better hand-eye coordination than any of us old folks, yet they are much worse drivers. Why?  Instincts rule.
Teens have not yet learned when NOT to trust their instincts. If your teen reacts instinctively, they will almost always overcorrect on the road.
If (and when) they run off the shoulder into the gravel, or run over the rumble strips, teen’s immediate instinctual reaction is to jerk the steering wheel back left, and then, realizing it was too much, then jerk back right, and create an uncontrollable spin sideways across traffic or even flip.
Correct overcorrecting using the “CPR Method”:
(C) CORRECT :     Just veer it straight…don’t steer violently back left onto the pavement just yet–feel the gravel. It’s okay.
(P) PAUSE:     Let off the gas and you will slow down while you straddle the road edge in gently corrected fashion. Remember entire roads are made of gravel, so just half your car on gravel is certainly okay.
(R) RECOVER:     Ease the steering wheel back onto the road.
This will never be on your road test, but teen drivers need to know how to react (or not over react) when they slip off the road.

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