Teen drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone and from text messaging behind the wheel in the state of Alabama, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. This state law isn’t going to completely eliminate their risks of a serious car accident in Alabama however. According to a recently released study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are a number of additional habits that can put your teen at risk on our roadways.
“This research serves as a great reminder for parents to stay involved in the learning process,” Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the foundation.
Our Alabama car accident attorneys understand teens are about 50 percent more likely to get into a traffic accident during their first 30 days behind the wheel than they are after driving for one year. Teen drivers are about twice as likely to get into an accident during the first six months of driving than they are after two full years of driving experience. The learning process of teen drivers is so important and parents should be fully involved in this process. Parents and guardians may be some of the most influential people in shaping a teen driver’s abilities behind the wheel.
The recent AAA study installed cameras in the vehicles of teen drivers in North Carolina. The footage caught the common causes of teen accidents on tape. Three of the most common mistakes made by teen drivers were failing to yield, driver inattention and failing to reduce speed. These three causes accounted for more than 50 percent of all accidents in which teens were partially responsible. As researchers continued to look at the types of accidents that teens were involved in, they concluded that as their experience increased, their risks of being involved in an accident involving speed decreased.
When teen drivers were taped while driving without licensed-driver supervision, they were caught texting behind the wheel, dangerously interacting with passengers, running red lights and other various distracting behaviors.
This study reiterates the importance of parent involvement in a teen driver’s learning experience. A parent-teen driving contract with your young driver can be a useful tool to increase safety. Safe driving habits should be taught and enforced early on to help prevent a potentially fatal traffic accident for your teen.
Parents should continue to enforce the following with teen drivers:
-Thorough driving practice. Be sure to expose them to a variety of driving conditions while they’re behind the wheel and supervised. This helps ensure that they can handle these driving situations when they’re alone.
-Make sure that you limit the number of passengers they drive with. Passengers can be extremely distracting for teen drivers and can greatly increase their risks of an accident.
-Keep an eye on their nighttime driving. With the decreased visibility during evening hours, teens face serious risks for car accidents. Make sure they get plenty of supervised evening driving before sending them off on their own.
-Be sure to set a good example. Make sure you practice what you preach when your teen driver is in your vehicle.
August a Deadly Month for Car Accidents, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, August 15, 2011
NTSB’s Most Wanted List Targets Motorists Most Likely to Experience a Fatal Car Accident in Alabama and Elsewhere, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, July 11, 2011