According to research by Consumer Reports, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, ahead of cancer, violence, or substance abuse. While graduated licensing has reduced the number of teen deaths due to car accidents, Fort Lauderdale car accidents are still a major risk factor for teens. Luckily, traffic accidents are largely preventable. According to Consumer Reports, there are many things that parents can do to help their teens drive safely:
1) Insist on a seatbelt. Consumer Reports found that in 60% of fatal car accidents involving teens, the teens were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. A seat belt is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to prevent Fort Lauderdale head injuries and other injuries in an accident. In the event of a Fort Lauderdale truck accident or car accident, wearing a seatbelt could save your child’s life.
2) Set a good example. Children learn from the adults around them, often without even realizing it. If you drive safely and responsibly, chances are good that your child will, too.
3) Set strict rules about drinking. Consumer Reports found that 27% of teens involved in fatal car accidents had been drinking at the time of the accident. Even if a teen driver is under the legal age for drinking, many teens do experiment with alcohol. When that experimentation is combined with driving, the consequences can be deadly. Worse, many teens fear phoning their parents for a drive home after drinking, worried that they will be in trouble for drinking. Make it clear to your teen drivers that they can always contact you for a drive home if they cannot get home safely – no questions asked.
4) Talk to your teen driver about distracted driving. Distracted driving is a major cause of Fort Lauderdale traffic accidents. Distracted driving can mean anything from texting and driving to having too many passengers in a car. Some companies and car manufacturers are stepping in to help parents prevent distracted driving. Ford’s MyKey, for example, can be programmed so that a teen has to faster a seatbelt before turning on the radio and allows a top speed to be set on the car.
5) Insist on additional driving training, including defensive driver training. According to Consumer Reports and many safety experts, the driver training required to get a driver’s license is not usually enough to truly teach safe driving skills. In most cases, the instruction results in only limited time behind the wheel and the courses usually focus on the basics of driving, rather than on important skills such as defensive driving. Sign up your teen for one-on-one driver training or additional driving instruction. The extra investment could save your teen’s life.
6) Limit car privileges until your teen has taken additional classes or has gained some driving experience. Consumer Reports found that 16-year-old drivers are three times more like to get into a car accident when compared with 18 or 19-year-old drivers. The first year of driving is riskiest, but parents can reduce the risk by setting some ground rules – such as limiting the number of passengers in the teen’s car – or by insisting that the teen hone their driving skills and experience before being allowed more time with the car.
7) Buy your teen the right car. Consumer Reports suggests a newer model that has some safety features, such as side curtain air bags and electronic stability control. Many teens opt for older cars due to the costs, but experts agree that older cars may have fewer safety features and may be in poorer shape, putting young drivers at risk.
If you or your teen have been injured in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with the Flaxman Law Group.