According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor
vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens in the United
States. In 2015, 2,333 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed
and another 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries
sustained. Compared to adults between the ages of 30 and 59, teen drivers
are involved in twice as many crashes and more likely to make mistakes,
speed, and engage in risky behavior.
If you have a teenage driver in your household, there are some steps you
can take to keep them safe on the road.
1.Make sure your teen is well rested: A recent Virginia Tech study found that fatigue was a common reason for
crashes involving teen drivers. Fatigue often causes judgment errors and
makes it difficult for younger and inexperienced drivers to recognize
hazards. While fatigued driving is risky for any driver, the effects of
it are especially detrimental for drivers lacking practice and experience
behind the wheel.
2.Ban the use of cell phones: Distracted driving is a major problem across the country, becoming an
increasingly common cause of motor vehicle accidents. There are many forms
of distracted driving, including eating and drinking, grooming, using
a GPS navigation device, but cell phone use is among one of the most dangerous
driving habits. Do not permit your teen to use a cellphone while driving,
even if they are using a hands-free feature.
3.Do not let your teen drive or ride with other teens: This might seem like a difficult rule to enforce since part of the appeal
of finally being able to drive is having your friends with you. However,
according to a Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health study,
teen drivers with another teen passenger are 39% more likely to die. This
risk spikes to 86% with two teenage occupants, and nearly doubles with
three or more occupants.
4.Do not let your teen drive at night: Nighttime is the riskiest time for drivers of any age to be out on the
road. This is even truer for teens who have slower reaction times and
are not as experienced with driving in the dark as more seasoned drivers.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study comparing
teen accident rates before and after night driving rules were imposed
in South Carolina, showing that nighttime accidents involving teenage
drivers dropped dramatically. You can impose nighttime driving rules of
your own to ensure your teen’s safety.
5.Make and enforce strict rules for your teen driver: Imposing strict rules on a teen driver will undoubtedly limit their driving,
which will also mean more driving for the parents. However, studies have
shown that teens are safer when parents monitor their driving habits more
closely and set limits for what they can and cannot do.
6.Lead by example: One of the most effective ways to encourage safe driving habits is for
parents to lead by example. If your teen sees you using your cell phone
while driving, he or she will likely do the same, regardless of what you
say. Your advice and rules will be better received and respected if your
teen sees that you practice what you preach.
South Bend Car Accident Attorneys
Car accidents are traumatic events that can cause serious injuries or even
death. Survivors of such tragic events are sometimes faced with long-term
complications, steep medical bills, and the inability to return to work.
If you or a loved one sustained severe injuries in an accident caused
by the negligent actions of another driver, you have a right to pursue
compensation, but it is crucial that you do so as soon as possible. In
Indiana, accident victims have only 2 years from the date of the incident
to file a personal injury lawsuit.
At Wruble Law Group, our legal team is highly experienced in handling personal
injury cases and will advise you on the best course of action to take.
We commonly handle auto accidents involving distracted drivers, DUIs,
reckless driving, rear-end collisions, side-impact accidents, and head-on
Contact our office today at (574) 281-0142 and let our South Bend car accident
attorneys begin working on your case.