Keep Your Teen Driver Safe on the Road
Handing a teen the keys to the family car is a hallmark experience; watching a child exercise mobility is often exciting yet tempered with anxiety over the dangers they may encounter. Unfortunately, parents have plenty of reason to be worried about their teens driving. Car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, and in 2015, six teens died in traffic accidents every day. However, parents are also in the best position to influence their teenagers in ways that can keep them safe on the road.Here are some safe driving habits to instill in teen drivers:
Obey the speed limit
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed was a factor in nearly one out of three teen driver fatalities in 2016. Teach teens that they do not need to keep up with traffic that is going too fast; it not only reduces the likelihood of an accident, but reduces the chances of getting a ticket that could affect driving record and insurance premiums.
A teen driving with one other teen in the car is two and a half times more likely to be involved in a crash than a teen driving alone, and the chances of an accident increase dramatically with each additional teen you add to the vehicle. Teach your children that the vehicle is not the place to socialize so they should leave their friends at home.
Never drive while drunk or impaired
Teens are the most likely group to be killed by drunk driving; nearly 20% of teen drivers killed in 2016 had been drinking. Since the legal drinking age in all states is 21, there are far too many underage teens drinking. Many also do not understand the impairment caused by both prescription and illicit drugs. Discuss the physical risks of driving while impaired, including the danger to self and others, as well as the long-term consequences including criminal prosecution, negative driving record, lost scholarship opportunities, and serious reputation damage.
Do not text behind the wheel
According to a study recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, nearly 40% of teenagers surveyed admitted to sending text messages or emails from behind the wheel in the preceding month. Even though texting while driving is illegal in California, about 32% of CA teenage drivers surveyed confirmed they drive while sending messages. Research shows that sending a text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is long enough to drive the length of a football field. Unsurprisingly, texted makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash.
Safe driving in southern California
Southern California is known for its sun, sand, and traffic. Modeling safe, distraction-free driving habits as you navigate the CA roadways is the number one way to ensure safe driving by your teens. If you are injured in an accident with a distracted driver, speak with a Los Angeles texting and driving accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law today to find out about your rights.
Additional teen driving safety resources:
- Journal of Adolescent Health, Texting/Emailing While Driving Among High School in 35 States, United States, 2015, https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(18)30250-7/fulltext
- Youth.gov, Promoting Safe Driving, https://youth.gov/youth-topics/teen-driver-safety/ways-promote-safe-driving-youth
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Teen Driving, https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving