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CARZ FOR GIRLZ: Teen Car Traps - Watch Out!



By Ilyse Gordon & Friends
The Auto Channel
Louisville Bureau

They're out to get us: Cops, parents, automakers, technology, car insurance agencies and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You really cannot blame them. Teen death rates due to automobile accidents aren't pretty, and facts are facts.

For example, females between the ages of 15-24 years of age account for 28% (or $7 billion worth) of vehicle injuries. The scary thing is, that's a very high percentage rate for a very small population of drivers. To keep one foot out of the grave and the other foot on the gas, teens need to read the road hazard signs.

Teen Drivers Need to Watch Out For:

Cops giving out more tickets. Increases have been cited across the county for minor offenses. It's a completely legal way for a city or county to make more money in hard economic times. A ticket for rolling though a stop sign is reported to be as high as $400.

Parents creating Car Contracts. Mom and Dad are get getting ideas to take the issue of reducing teen auto death rates from auto organizations like AAA by creating homemade "Car Contracts." Do not sign anything you don't understand. Realize you have negotiating power. What they want is your safety – but what do you want for giving it?

Graduated Driver License (GDL) systems. All 50 states now have some kind of system that halts the breaks on your driving, especially where nighttime driving and the number of passengers is involved. States like California and New York are the most restrictive, so you'd better figure out – by law – what time you have to get home.

Too many passengers. Teens at especially high risks for motor vehicle crashes are males, the newly licensed – and drivers with too many distractions or bodies in the car. You're libel to not drive like yourself if you have too many people to tend to. Plus, because of GDL systems, it's illegal in some states to have more that one passenger.

GPS-monitored "Teen Tracking" technology. Yes, it's quite possible for your parents to log on and find exactly where you are with the family automobile through the key fob you can even download it like a flash drive to get data. I suggest when you sign that Car Contract, you include a bullet they are never to use such a device on you.

Text messages. According to the Allstate Foundation, 13 percent of teens admit to text messaging while driving. It doesn't help that statistics show teens take their eyes off the road more than any aged driver. I advice making it a rule to either hide or turn off your phone when driving.

Driving checkpoints. They're just not for the holidays anymore! Cops are keen on the dates of high school dances and big game days. Don't take a chance to drink and drive anytime – and realize you really won't get away with it during high-profile events.

Bad grades. Most insurers offer a discount, some as high as 25%, for students who maintain a B average. Mom and dad could have lost this discount if you didn't do so well this past semester.

Cars with problems. When was the last time you checked the oil in your car? Do you know what it feels like when a car's brakes are going out? If you're looking for a decent ride, I suggest checking out what The Auto Channel has to offer!

Most of all, watch out for: Cops, parents, automakers, technology, car insurance agencies and the DMV being right. Drive carefully and drive sober!

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