Driving challenges us to use dozens of our coordination, observation, and decision-making skills at once. Being young and inexperienced, teens naturally struggle with acquiring these skills. Learning to drive as a teen can mean some figurative bumps in the road — as well as literal ones.
According to the CDC, 292,742 drivers aged 16-19 in the U.S. received emergency room treatments for crash injuries in 2016. That same year, 2,433 teens died from their car accident injuries, equalling about six teens per day. Altogether, teen drivers and passengers accounted for $13.6 billion of the total motor vehicle injury costs for that year — 8.4% of the costs overall.
Keeping your teen safe on the road should be a top priority. Simple lessons, like not getting distracted by the phone or radio while driving, could easily save lives.
In the event that your teen gets into a major accident through no fault of their own, a Pensacola car accident lawyer can assist your family with filing an accident claim for all available forms of compensation.
Here are the top 10 ways you can help your teen driver lower their risk of a car accident:
1. Emphasize That They Are More Vulnerable to Accidents
On a per-miles-driven basis, teens 16-19 have a crash rate nearly three times higher than those 20 and older.
2. Give Them Supervised Driving Hours After 16
Accompany your teen on trips, or offer to let them drive during family outings. Monitored driving can allow teens to build skills and recognize decisions more adeptly.
3. Explain Defensive Driving Techniques
Teens must understand that they can take actions to reduce the risks that other drivers pose on the road. Teach them to yield, not to tailgate, and other practical safety guidelines.
4. Discourage their Need for Speed
Driving fast is tempting but dangerous. Nearly a third of all fatal crashes with teen drivers involved speeding.
5. Make Them Wear Their Seatbelt
Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use among age groups; just 59% of teens say they wear their seat belt when riding as a passenger.
6. Communicate the Dangers of Drinking and Driving
One in four teen drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016 had been drinking some amount of alcohol, and one in five was alcohol-impaired.
7. Keep Phone Usage at Bay
Give your teen a hands-free device, and tell them to keep their phone powered off unless using the navigation feature.
8. Avoid Letting Them Drive Their Friends
The risk of a teen driver getting in a fatal accident increases by 44% when carrying one passenger under 21, doubles when carrying two, and quadruples when carrying three or more.
9. Set a Good Example with Your Own Driving
Adult drivers who don’t speed, don’t get distracted, and practice other good driving habits provide a positive role model to their young drivers.
10. Ensure Your Teen Knows What to Do After a Crash
Teens should know to call 911 immediately after checking on everyone.
If they can, they should also take photos of the accident before the vehicles are moved or they are carried away by an ambulance. They should not admit fault or apologize at the scene of the accident.
Ideally, you and your teen will speak with a Pensacola car accident lawyer as soon as you can regarding a claim against any negligent drivers involved. Call us today at 850-444-4878 for your free consultation.