National Teen Driver Safety Week Is A Good Start.
Here’s a great idea that gives parents and schools the chance to focus on this critical safety issue.
The U.S. Department of Transportation devised this excellent awareness program to curtail the tragic loss of 2,333 teens and 221,313 teens severely injured after being in an auto accident in 2015.
Parents are not usually usually driving with their teens so they must teach and enforce these five crucial driving behaviors to prevent car and truck crashes:
- No using a cell phone or texting
- No piling passengers in the car
- No speeding
- No drinking alcohol
- No driving without wearing a seat belt
Cell Phones and Texting
At this moment a whopping 660,000 drivers are driving while looking at and using their phones. That statistic is even scarier when you consider that many of the drivers are so young.
OK, it’s what most people do these days. But we shouldn’t. Especially young people.
It’s almost like many teenagers were born with a cell phone in their hands. Small children sit transfixed over tablets and phones. They it in passenger seats texting, posting on social media, and surfing the net. So this can be a tough habit to break when these kids make the transition to the driver’s seat. Parents can be a strong force in stopping texting while driving by setting strict rules, downloading an anti-texting app and setting a good example.
Carrying friends in the car may seem harmless enough but friends are a primary distraction when you’re young. In fact, each additional passenger raises the risk of a fatal auto accident threefold.
Why is that? Teens are more distracted by the conversations and actions of their peers. They may also be more likely to drive recklessly when other teens are in the car.
Teens are more likely to speed than adults. Teen passengers are also less likely to speak up if their friends are dangerously speeding. More than one-third of male teen drivers were speeding at the time of a deadly crash. Female teens have a slightly lower rate of speeding in fatal accidents.
One effective means of teaching teens that speeding doesn’t pay is to make them pay for traffic citations and assess other penalties like taking away driving privileges. Also, parents should be aware of the example they set by staying within the speed limit.
Wearing Seat Belts
A shocking number of teens die each year in auto crashes because they didn’t wear a seat belt. Part of the reason is that teens are less likely to buckle up than adults, who actually have a high rate of seat belt use. More than half of teens who died in car accidents were not wearing their seat belt.
Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest, most effective ways to survive a crash. Teens should be made to wear a seat belt any time they get into a car, whether as a driver or a passenger.
Drinking and Driving
A large number (17%) of teen drivers involved in deadly car wrecks were legally drunk with an adult’s measure of .08 or higher percent blood alcohol concentration. This is an incredible statistic, especially considering that drinking any amount of alcohol is illegal in Texas until you are 21 years old.
Drinking and driving is the ultimate party foul. That is the right message sent by a new emoji keyboard available for download.
What you should do if your teen has been in a car wreck
I can still remember getting the call that my daughter had been in a minor collision just after she had gotten her license. Fortunately no one was hurt, but she was at fault and our insurance company paid for the other driver’s truck damage. But these crashes can be traumatic as parents deal with a situation that should never have happened.
Many insurance company adjusters and their attorneys assume that the teen caused the collision just because he or she was driving. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not. That’s why you would be smart to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Immediate investigation by a trained professional and his staff is critical.
Here are other useful tips that will assist you after you or your child has been involved in a car crash:
Our law firm stands ready to immediately help you evaluate liability, damages, and legal options for you and your teenager. We have been successful with prosecuting and advising teen drivers and their families over the past 37 years and can help you obtain the largest settlement or verdict, depending on the facts of the case.
For more information, please call us at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 or click here.