According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teen drivers are over-represented in serious car crashes, especially fatal collisions. To help combat teen car accidents, the NHTSA has introduced their 5 to Drive, which are five rules to help teens stay safer on the roads:
1) Enforce a “no cellphones” rule.
New drivers need to focus fully on driving, especially since they are still developing their driving skills. Using mobile devices in any way – whether to talk to text – can be a big distraction that can lead to car collisions in Homestead and other communities. Studies have even shown that hands-free devices can cause distraction, so the best solution is to have a “no mobile device” rule in the car. There are apps and car technologies that automatically incapacitate cell phones while a car is moving, which can take away any temptation to check messages. According to the NHTSA, driver distraction contributes to about 10 percent of fatal teen driver collisions, so enforcing this rule is vital to keep your child safe.
2) Do not allow passengers.
Just like cell phones, passengers can be a big distraction for new drivers. Studies have shown that teen drivers driving with teen passengers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as tailgating, speeding, driving erratically, and weaving, when compared with teen drivers driving alone or with adult passengers.
3) Ban speeding.
According to the NHTSA, 48 percent of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers in 2012 involved speeding. High speed can make any collision worse and can also increase the likelihood of an accident, since new drivers may not have the skills to react quickly enough at higher speeds. Some car makers have made cars which limit the speeds of teen drivers or allow parents to be notified by text if their teen speeds.
4) Ensure your teen always wears a seatbelt.
According to the NHTSA, 55 percent of teen passengers killed in car collisions do not wear seat belts. The agency also reports that teen passengers are also among the groups least likely to use seat belts. This is despite the fact that wearing a seatbelt can be one of the simplest things that can be done to prevent serious injury in a car collision.
5) Enforce a “no alcohol” rule.
According to the NHTSA, 28 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal car accidents in 2012 were drinking at the time of their crash. Although it is illegal for teens to drink, underage drinking is extremely common and can have disastrous consequences when combined with driving. Unfortunately, some parents deny the fact that their teens may be drinking and never sit down to have a discussion about drinking and driving. It is important to let new drivers know that they can always call you for a safe drive home – no questions asked and no punishment levied. Teens are more likely to call for help and avoid drinking and driving if they know they won’t be in trouble for drinking in the first place.
If your teen has been injured by a reckless driver or mechanical failure, you may want to know that the law firm of Flaxman Law Group has handled thousands of car accident and personal injury cases. You can contact us at any time to schedule a free consultation.