Spring Break Brings High Risk of Teen Car Accidents in Alabama
Mar 19, 2013 - Tuscaloosa by Cross & Smith
Recently, CNN reported on several fatal wrecks involving teenagers. CNN also included statistics indicating that car crashes remain the top cause of death for young kids ages 15 to 20.
Kids are always at risk of car accidents, but over the next few weeks, many teens will be on spring break from either high school or college. With time off from school and spring break parties common throughout Tuscaloosa, young people are in even more danger of being involved in car accidents.
Our Tuscaloosa accident attorneys know that talking to kids and modeling good driving behavior are the top things that parents can do to help reduce the risk of teen auto accidents. Before your kids go out to celebrate this spring break, you should have a long talk with them about the dangers of unsafe driving.
Talking to Your Kids About Spring Break Risks
Kids are in danger of getting into auto accidents not only when they are driving but also when they are out with their friends. In fact, studies have shown that the more teenagers there are in a car together, the greater the chance of an accident occurring. This is true whether your kids are headed to a party or a day at the mall for spring break, or even if they are carpooling home from college to spend some time at home over vacation.
Parents, therefore, should talk to their kids even if they don’t have a driver’s license of their own yet in order to help them avoid putting themselves into a dangerous situation.
Some of the things that parents of teens should mention when discussing spring break driving dangers include:
- The importance of wearing a seat belt. CNN.com indicates that only around 54 percent of teenagers said they wear a seat belt every time they get into a car. Not wearing a seat belt is extremely dangerous and significantly increases the possibility of getting seriously hurt or dying if a crash occurs.
- The importance of paying attention to the road. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents for people of all ages, but especially for teenage drivers. Distraction.gov reported that 40 percent of teens admitted in a Pew Poll that they’d been in a vehicle with someone who put people in danger because of their cell phone use. Don’t let your child be one of the ones endangering him or herself, their friends or others.
- The dangers of drunk driving. While there have been numerous public education programs and everyone should know that drunk driving is dangerous by now, many teens still believe that an accident will never happen to them. Parents should make clear that drunk driving is one of the single most risky things that a driver can do and should let their kids know they will always pick them up from a party, no questions asked, if their ride has been drinking.
- The risks of drowsy driving. College kids eager to get home for break or high schoolers who have slept over at a friends over spring break might be tempted to drive when they are overtired. A drowsy driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver.
Parents should be sure to have this important conversation on the dangers of spring break driving as soon as possible to help kids to stay safe over the mid-semester vacation.
Report: Alabama Teen Driver Fatalities on the Rise, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, February 28, 2013.