Top 5 Teen Driving Errors

November 17, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

In North America we allow people to begin acquiring the skill of driving at the age of 16. Contrary to what many teens may think this is a difficult skill and it takes time to master it. The recognition of that fact is why we have graduated licencing in Ontario, why insurance rates are much higher for teen drivers, and why there is a series of tests to pass to become a fully licenced driver.

The consequences of making mistakes behind the wheel can result in tragic outcomes ranging form death of the driver to death of others, through to minor things like car damage. Every event impacts the insurance rate of the driver, and the insurance companies all do routine checks with the MTO so the chance of getting away with not reporting a ticket for speeding, for example, is very low.

Teen drivers make a variety of common mistakes while driving that impact their safety, the safety of those around them, and their wallets. Here is the top 5 list of mistakes they make.

  1. Speeding/Following Too Closely
    Inexperienced drivers lack the ability to judge their own speed, others’ speeds, and stopping distance/time. Their reflexes may be sharp but their ability to exercise the required judgement of when to begin slowing or stopping is inadequate. Teens should be encouraged to follow the speed limit, and to understand that in rain, snow/ice, fog, heavy traffic, it is alright to travel at well below the speed lit in order to stay safe. People travelling faster likely have more experience or are being reckless.
  2. Distraction
    Distracted driving is the leading cause of death among teens. Distractions include talking, texting, listening to music, playing with the radio, talking on the phone, eating or having rowdy friends in the car. At highway speed you travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send a text. Don’t do it.
  3. Impaired Driving
    Drug impaired driving rates are very high among teens, alcohol impaired driving rates are higher than for mature drivers as well. Offer your teens ‘no consequence’ ways to come home if they or the people they are with have been drinking or using drugs. The mature things is to ask for help in those situations.
  4. Not wearing a seat belt
    Enough said.
  5. Driving the wrong car
    For a long time people would encourage teens to drive ‘the beater’ car. The one that’s already been banged up. The prudent thing to do is to offer the newest/safest car to drive. Safety features will benefit them in an accident.
    Avoid giving teens big powerful cars to drive as they are easy to lose control of. Teens lack the driving abilities in a crisis situation, and they may also be tempted to travel far more fast than is safe.


Posted under Car Accidents, Distracted Drivers, Drunk Driving Accidents, Pain and Suffering, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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