Teen Driver Safety Week, which occurs annually in October, has drawn to a close. During this time, parents were urged to participate in the “5 to Drive” campaign, organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The goal of the campaign was to get parents to talk to their teens about some of the dangerous driving behaviors that lead to teen motor vehicle crashes.
A personal injury lawyer knows car accidents remain the leading cause of death for young people. Parents play a big role in helping to reduce the risk of accidents. Although Teen Driver Safety Week is over, parents need to continue to enforce rules to help ensure their kids don’t make dangerous mistakes behind the wheel. Parents and guardians should also ensure that they are setting a good example, as kids tend to mimic the behaviors that they see their parents engage in behind the wheel.
Parents Can Make a Difference in Reducing Teen Accidents
According to the NHTSA, 4,283 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in deadly accidents and 44 percent of the drivers died in the collisions. In total, this is a loss of 1,875 young people between the ages of 15 and 20. Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of fatalities, despite the fact that motor vehicle accident deaths on the whole have been declining in recent years.
The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stressed the important role parents play in reducing the risk of teen accidents. Parents were encouraged to talk to their teen about a different important driver safety issue every day over Teen Driver Safety Week and to continue the conversation even after this week has ended. The issues that parents should be sure to talk to their teens about include:
- Cell phone and texting use while driving.
- Making sure kids do not have passengers in the car. Teens are 2.5 times more likely to engage in high-risk driving behaviors with one friend in the car and three times as likely when they have multiple teen passengers.
- Driving at or below the speed limit.
- Refraining from consumption of alcohol.
- Always buckling up when behind the wheel.
The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article on teen drivers that also affirmed the importance of the role of the parent. Parents have multiple roles when it comes to teen drivers including:
- Giving permission for teens to get a license.
- Controlling access to vehicles.
- Setting family rules and punishments for infractions.
- Selecting the vehicle that a teen will drive.
- Acting as a driving instructor and a supervisor.
- Serving as a role model for safe driving.
Parents, however, are frequently unaware of high-risk driving behaviors by teens and they often place more restrictions on details like the destination or the time a teen comes home as compared with dangerous driving conditions like night driving with teen passengers.
Parents should be sure they are doing everything they can to reduce the risk that their sons or daughters will make high-risk decisions that endanger others while driving.
Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation.