Teenagers still need to get the message about seatbelts, with research showing that 16-24 is the age group using these life-saving devices least. In fact, most fatal car accidents involving teens include teenagers not wearing seatbelts.
There are many reasons why teens may not device to wear seat belts. It may be an expression of independence or rebellion. In some cases, teens may simply have a hard time believing they might get in a car crash or be seriously injured. No matter what the cause, the result is the same: in many car collisions in Hollywood and Florida, teens are not taking the basic precaution which can keep them safe.
Your Role in Helping Your Teen Avoid Injuries in a Hollywood Car Crash
If you are a parent, there are several things you can do to encourage your child to buckle up:
- Start early. Before your child is ever a teen, encourage them to wear a seat belt. Praise them when they wear a seat belt, buckle up themselves, or remind other passengers to wear their seat belts. Make your child feel good about wearing a seat belt and it will hopefully be a good and deeply-ingrained healthy habit by the time they become drivers.
- Be a good seat belt role model. Wear a seat belt yourself and buckle up each time you drive.
- Talk to your teens. Even if wearing seat belts is commons sense in your household, have a talk with your teens once they start driving. Talk about the laws concerning seat belts and the consequences of not buckling up. Keep having that conversation, too. Instead of talking about it once, make it a point to review the importance of seat belt use often.
- Pay attention. Does your teen buckle up as soon as they hop in the car? Have their seat belt habits changed recently? If your child is not buckling up or seems to have become more reluctant about wearing a seat belt, have a conversation. Now that they are drivers, has something changed? Are they facing peer pressure to take risks in the car? Knowing what is going on lets you address these issues head on.
- Make sure your teen’s seat belt fits comfortably. Your teen driver is more likely to buckle up if it is comfortable to do so. Keep in mind that no teen wants to use a booster seat, so if your car is large or your teen driver is not tall, you may need to have the seat belts adjusted at the dealership or by the manufacturer to ensure a good fit.
- Have serious consequences in place for non-compliance. Your teen is more likely to wear a seat belt if not doing so could mean they end up without a car. Be prepared to take away the car keys if teens drive under the influence, race, or fail to buckle up.
If your teen has been injured in a car accident, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our team of attorneys can review the situation and help you understand whether you have a claim—all with no cost and no obligation.