Keeping Your Child and Others Safe on the Roadways

teen driving safetyPassing the driver’s exam is a significant milestone for any teenager, but the accident statistics for inexperienced drivers are frightening for any parent.  It is pertinent that teens understand the real consequences of their actions when they are behind the steering wheel.  It is also imperative they drive defensively to avoid reckless behavior of other drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported 62% of teens that died in car accidents in 2015 were the drivers of the vehicle.  That means drivers accounted for nearly 1700 of the 2,700 fatalities.  An additional 55% of teenage passengers killed in 2015 were passengers in vehicles driven by other teens. Tragically, thousands of parents each year across Ohio and the US, receive the dreaded, heartbreaking phone call that comes when a young life has been cut short.

 

A Reality Check on Teen Driving

Contrary to what most teens believe, they are not invincible!  Actions behind the wheel of a vehicle can change their lives, and the lives of others, forever. For parents, it must be a priority to talk to your teen about safety and not assume a responsible teen equates to a responsible driver.

Tiered driving privileges, city curfews and insurance restrictions are not replacements for good old fashioned education and conversation.  Explore the most common causes of teen accidents below, lead by example, and talk with your child and his or her friends immediately.

Safety Basics

The basics go a long way, and for an inexperienced teen driver they can truly be the difference between life and death.

  • Seat Belts
  • Turn Signals
  • Headlights
  • Speed Limit
  • What to do in an accident
  • Bad weather, etc.

Use technology in your favor!  While it may be a teen’s worst nightmare, there are a plethora of apps like HUM and built-in navigation features to keep track of how your teen is driving.  For instance, the Verizon HUM service is just $10 a month, easy to use and can be incredibly valuable.

Passengers

This may seem cruel and unusual punishment to a social teen, but there should be ZERO passengers in the car until he or she has gained some real life driving experience.

Passengers in teen vehicles critically impact the number of accidents – placing both the teen passenger and driver’s lives at risk. Unfortunately, in the early years of driving the joy riding should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Distractions

Despite state laws and some pretty horrific visual displays, teens do not seem to be discouraged from driving distracted.  From texting to calls, snapchatting, navigation, music, eating and virtually anything else imaginable – Distracted driving is an extremely serious issue for teens.

It is strongly recommended to have honest conversations, ask questions, give real life examples and lead by way of example – your teen has to understand that paying attention is the single greatest factor for crash prevention.

Alcohol and Drugs

Whether related to driving or not, alcohol and drug use among teens is more prevalent than ever before.  Drugs are more accessible, kids are more likely to explore and the deadly statistics prove it.

Furthermore, prom and homecoming weekends yield even more accidents and prove that impaired driving is a serious issue for teens.

At no time, under any circumstances, should anyone get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride as a passenger when drugs or alcohol have been used. While abstinence is ideal, honesty is the best policy. If your child believes he/she can come to you for help if placed in an uncomfortable situation, it could truly save their life, the lives of their friends and innocent drivers on the road.

Defensive Driving

In addition to paying attention and abiding by all safety laws, it is incredibly important that teen drivers understand that other drivers may be careless, reckless and impaired. As such driving defensively and remaining aware are the keys to safety.

Dangerous Driving Has a Profound Impact

In the worst case scenario a teen’s life is lost and his/her family suffers unimaginable heartbreak.  Lives of friends, relatives, peers and the community at large are forever impacted.  Don’t allow a tragedy to be the gauge by which teens adhere to safety.

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, contact Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg Injury Law today. Our experienced accident attorneys will take on the big insurance companies and ensure you obtain the compensation that you or your family rightfully deserve.