An Enormous Safety Threat to Your Teenager
Summer is not the time when most of us want to think about serious issues. Yet, if you are the parent of a teenager, you realize that summertime is when teens are most likely to be on the go, despite not having to run to school and extracurricular activities. If your teen is a new driver, this fact is one more worry for you as a parent.
Those who study traffic accidents and their causes talk about the “100 Deadliest Days,” meaning the period of time between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. It’s when fresh, inexperienced drivers are most likely to get into trouble on the road.
Teen Crashes According to the Numbers
The “100 Deadliest Days” are responsible for over 1,000 deaths in teen-involved crashes per year, according to studies done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It’s been demonstrated that the average number of deaths during the 100 Deadliest Days—1,022—are 16 percent higher than the days during the rest of the year.
Distraction was found to be the cause of nearly 60 percent of teen crashes. Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, noted that, “Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver. This new research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers.”
Some additional statistics to ponder, courtesy of the National Safety Council:
- As many as two million teenagers under 18 have been driving for less than one year.
- Under-18 drivers play a part in 900,000 crashes every year.
- Drivers aged 16 to 19 are the most likely age group to be involved in a fatal crash.
What Are the Likeliest Distractions?
Believe it or not, cell phones were not the No. 1 cause of teen crashes, though they were high on the list. The biggest distractions for teen drivers, as reported in a AAA Foundation follow-up study, were:
- Other persons in the vehicle. Interacting with others caused 15 percent of teen crashes.
- Operating a cell phone by texting, calling, or performing other usages. Cell phones caused 12 percent of teen crashes.
- Looking for something inside the car. Reaching or looking for an item caused 11 percent of teen crashes.
How Can I Help My Teen Driver?
Every parent wants to assure that their child is safe 24/7. While it is usually not possible to do so, we do have suggestions for ways you can help your teen make it through the “100 Deadliest Days” safely:
- Ride with your teen so you can check their driving skills. Recommend improvements, but be mindful of teen sensitivities so you don’t alienate them. Stress that you both are on the same side.
- Restrict your child’s cell phone usage behind the wheel, explaining why it is necessary to do so. Suggest that your teen keep their phone in an inaccessible place so they won’t be tempted to check it.
- Consider limiting the number of friends your teen is allowed to have in the car with them. Distraction from conversations with passengers is a top crash-causer.
- Insist that, in situations where a DUI might occur, they call you for transportation, with no questions asked or lectures given. Then keep your word. It’s far better that they arrive home safely.
- Set a good example as a parent. Don’t use your cell phone while you drive, buckle your seatbelt, and don’t speed or drive recklessly. Teens tend to mirror a parent’s behavior behind the wheel.
One last thing you can do: sign the New Driver Deal. It’s an agreement on which you will both work as partners to keep the newest driver in the family safe. You can complete the contract online together.
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Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident where the other driver was at fault? When you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, you should look for an attorney who will give you competent and compassionate representation with a “client first” approach. That’s exactly what you’ll get with proven advocate attorney Mike Stephenson. His entire legal team is committed to doing whatever is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
If you think you might have a case, keep in mind that in Indiana there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call Mike Stephenson at 1-317-825-5200 or contact us for immediate help.