We just recently passed the halfway mark of the 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers. It was July 15, and while you may have let out a sigh of relief, just know that it’s not over yet. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), this is the middle of the most dangerous time for our teens to be behind the wheel and out on our roadways.
Our Tuscaloosa car accident lawyers understand that there are 2 million teenagers in the United States who are under the age of 18 and are currently within their first year of driving. Break that number down, and it’s more than the population of Houston.
These drivers are always at serious risk — but never more so than through the long summer months. Yearly, there are close to 1 million teen drivers who are involved in a motor vehicle accident. When you break that down, that means we’re seeing close to 3,000 of these accidents on U.S. roadways each and every day.
It’s clear that driver inexperience behind the wheel puts them at risk for motor-vehicle accidents. As a matter of fact, drivers who are between the ages of 16 and 19 are most likely to be in a deadly car accident. And in these accidents, there are close to 4,000 people killed. If you want to picture this number, just imagine 50 buses packed full — that’s how many people are killed in teen driver-related accidents a year.
Teen Driver Risks
-Close to half of all accidents happen during the evening hours. Most of them occur before midnight. Make sure your teen has a driving curfew.
-Teen drivers are most likely to talk on a cell phone and/or text behind the wheel. As a matter of fact, nearly 70 percent of teens admit to texting behind the wheel. These behaviors increase a driver’s risk for an accident by roughly 10 times.
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. There are things that parents and guardians can do to help reduce these risks and keep these young drivers safe:
-Make sure you’re spending enough time in the vehicle with your newly-licensed driver. You not only want to sit in the passenger seat and supervise their skills, but you want them to ride along with you to make sure they get a first-hand look at the safe driving habits you expect from them.
-Consider creating and enacting a parent-teen driving contract. This is going to help to lay out all of the expectations you have of them, and the consequences for breaking any of these rules.
-Make sure your teen is aware of all of the road laws and regulations. Quiz them about road signs, signals and other various situations that they’re likely to face behind the wheel. Knowing what to do and being prepared is the best way to prevent an accident.
-Keep the conversation regarding safe driving habits fresh in their mind. Talk more often about the risks of dangerous driving habits and the benefits of safe, responsible driving. Frequent talks can help to decrease their risks for an accident.
Alabama Car Insurance: Myths and Misconceptions, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, July 21, 2013
Hands Free Devices Don’t Really Reduce Your Distracted Driving Risk, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, June 27, 2013
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