Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Teen Drivers – How to Help Them Avoid Auto Accidents!
Learning to drive is an exciting time in every teen’s life. Auto accident lawyers know that this can also be a very dangerous time as well, especially for those teen-aged drivers who ignore the dangers of driving. Attorneys offer these safety tips for parents and their teenaged drivers to help raise awareness and reduce the number of teens involved in traffic accidents every year. By encouraging safe driving habits, personal injury attorneys suggest that parents can help teens drive safely and avoid becoming another injury statistic.
Some Sobering Teen Driving Statistics
According to various health and safety groups, teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 make up the highest crash statistic of all other drivers on the roads.1 Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths in this age group as a result. Over 2,000 teens are killed every year and hundreds of thousands are injured in motor vehicle accidents. In 2014 alone, more than 2,600 teens between the age of 13 and 19 were killed in vehicle accidents.2 Thankfully, this number has been steadily decreasing over the past decade, largely due to increased awareness among teens and their parents.
Helping Teens Stay Safe on the Roads
Although teen crash statistics may be slowly improving, the risk of injury or fatality is much higher for teens than other driving populations for a few reasons. Most of the accidents involving teens are caused by driver error and driving inexperience in addition to speeding and careless driving. To increase safety among teen drivers, auto accident lawyers suggest that parents and their teens learn these safety tips and put them to use:
- Always Buckle Up - Buckling up is the law in every state except New Hampshire in varying degrees of use.3 From the first time behind the wheel to when they are driving on their own, teens must learn to buckle up and insist the same for all passengers.
- Adopt A Zero Tolerance Rule - Many teens interviewed about drinking and driving have stated that they are much less likely to drive while intoxicated when a zero tolerance rule is made. Parents are encouraged to do this with their teens as well as discuss the potential legal and accident outcomes should teens drink and drive.
- Avoid Dangerous Distractions - A huge distraction for many teens today is phone use and texting, which is responsible for many auto accidents. Personal injury attorneys advise parents to insist that their teenage drivers observe no texting or phone calls while driving.
- Obey Traffic and Safety Laws - While this may seem like an obvious rule to impress upon teen drivers, many youthful drivers still drive carelessly and fail to obey standard safety laws. Auto accident attorneys advise parents to teach their teens about observing stop signs and lights, using turn signals, and not speeding, which by itself increases the chance of an inexperienced, youthful driver losing control of their vehicle.
- Parents As A Good Example - One of the best ways for parents to encourage their teens to drive responsibly is to set a good example. Parents can directly influence the driving behavior of their teenagers and reduce the risk of being in an accident as well.
Auto accident lawyers point out that although some accidents will undoubtedly happen, good driving habits can be established with practice. Attorneys know that teens who take the time to become better drivers can reduce their chances of being involved in a car accident and avoid bad driving habits. Personal injury attorneys advise families that teen drivers can remain safe on the roads today if they refrain from unsafe activities and practice safe driving practices.