It is only natural for teenagers to be excited about getting their driver’s license and getting the keys to a car. After all, teens know that driving is another way to exercise their freedom. Unfortunately, car accidents are still the leading killer of teens in the United States, but most teens aren’t aware or choose not to worry about this chilling reality.
Some of the shocking statistics include:
- Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are most at risk for being in a crash than any other age group.
- More male teenagers die in motor vehicle accidents than female teens.
- 2,650 teenagers aged 16-19 were killed in auto accidents in 2011, and 292,000 were injured and treated, according to the CDC.
In light of these horrific statistics and due to the fact that January is Teen Driving Awareness Month, it is important to educate yourself about teen accidents. Because parents of teenagers are more likely to read the facts about teen driving and want to do what they can to keep their teenagers safe behind the wheel, we have included information for parents about this topic and ways to reduce the risk of a teen crash.
Causes of Teen Crashes
- Distracted driving. When teenagers text and drive or use their phone in any way from behind the wheel, they increase their chances of being in a fatal crash.
- Driving with other teens and passengers. When teen drivers take other teen passengers in their cars, the risk of crashing increases with the number of passengers.
- Inexperience. Because teens lack the wisdom and experience older drivers have, their inexperience can cause them to make bad judgment calls out on the road.
- Impaired driving. About one quarter of teens involved in deadly accidents are found to be intoxicated.
- Reckless driving. When teenagers speed, they increase their chances of being involved in a fatal crash.
- Nighttime driving. Most fatal teen accidents occur between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight, and the majority of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes happen on weekend nights.
Ways Teens Can Avoid Crashes
- Stop texting and driving
- Pledge to stop using a cell phone while driving
- Avoid driving while being distracted
- Drive alone whenever possible
- Drive the speed limit
- Follow the road rules and traffic signals
- Keep the music volume at a normal level
- Limit driving at night
- Wear a seat belt
- Adjust the mirrors before every trip
If teen drivers can follow these tips, they will drastically reduce their chances of being involved in a fatal crash. When teenagers understand that distractions and driving with other teen passengers can increase their chances of being fatally injured, they might think twice about participating in these things. However, many teenagers don’t keep these things in mind, which is why it is up to the parent to help educate their teen driver and help them reach their destination safely.
Other Things Parents of Teen Drivers Should Do to Keep Their Teens Safe
- Set a good example. Every time you drive, your children are watching. If you don’t want them to text, don’t text and drive. Model the driving behavior you would like them to display.
- Practice. Take your teen driver out to practice in a variety of traffic conditions and road conditions to educate him or her.
- Have open communication. Let your child know that you are always available to pick him or her up if they have been drinking or if the driver they rode with has been drinking or using drugs.
- Set rules. Set curfews and phone rules for keeping teen drivers as safe as possible.
These tips should help reduce the likelihood of your teen being involved in a crash; however, if your teenager is injured in an accident and it wasn’t their fault, you need to speak with a lawyer immediately. To find out about your rights and how to protect your teen, contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 today. You will get your questions answered in a free consultation by a knowledgeable auto accident attorney.