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Maria was 21 years old when she was involved in a fatal car accident. Unlike most Stories similar to Maria's, she wasn't texting, drinking or eating; she simply took her eyes off the road and hit a stopped tractor trailer.
ERIE is sponsoring here message in an outgoing effort to raise awareness on issues related to distracted driving-technology-related and otherwise.  ERIE choose to sponsor this message in conjunction with SHIFT, ERIE's annual incentive contest to encourage safe driving among teens. 
Please help ERIE promote this important safety message.  You can watch Maria's Message by going to www.youtube.com/embed/e1WPd9ApoII.

Here are some safety tips for teen drivers:

1: Keep Your Cell Phone Off

Multiple studies indicate using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk-that's even when using a hands-free phone. Besides, your state may prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Many do for drivers of certain ages.

2: Don't Text

Research shows texting-on average-causes a loss of focus on the road for five seconds. A lot can go wrong in those five seconds. Don't try the "texting-while-stopped" approach, either, as many states ban texting while behind the wheel. And, when you have you head down, you won't notice key developments that may occur, even when you're stuck at a red light.

3: Turn on Your Headlights

Doing so can increase your visibility and help other drivers see you, even on sunny days.

4: Obey the Speed Limit

Speeding causes about 40% of all fatal teen accidents. That's especially true when driving on roads with lots of traffic or you're not familiar with.
Don't feel pressured to keep up with traffic if it seems like everyone else is flying by you. Driving a safe speed helps ensure your well-being, and keeps your away from costly traffic tickets that can cause a sharp hike in your auto insurance premiums.

5: Minimize Distractions

It may be tempting to eat, drink, flip around the radio dial, or play music loudly while you're cruising around town; however, all can cause your mind or vision to wander, even for a few seconds. And, that can be enough for an inexperienced driver to lose control of your car, or not notice an obstacle in the road.

6: Drive Solo

Having a single teen passenger in your car can double the risk of causing a car accident. Adding additional teen passengers causes the risk to escalate.

7: Practice Defensive Driving

Always be aware of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you in slower speeds, and maintain a larger buffer zone with faster speeds.

8: Choose a Safe Car

If possible, drive a safe car with the latest safety equipment (such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and air bags), and one with an excellent crash safety record.
Posted 2:41 PM  View Comments

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