blog home Car Safety How can you keep teens safer on the road?

How can you keep teens safer on the road?

By John Singleton on May 12, 2016

Auto crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among American teenagers. More than 2,100 teens were killed in 2013, and nearly 250,000 visited an emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The fatality rate for young men involved in wrecks was almost twice that of young women.

These statistics are deeply concerning to me, both as the father of teenaged boys, and as a personal injury attorney.

Factors that can increase a teenager’s risk of being in serious wrecks include:

  1. Teens are more likely to speed than older drivers, and to not allow proper following distances.
  2. Teens often underestimate or don’t recognize dangerous situations, partly because of their inexperience.
  3. Distracted driving (from using electronic devices) is more of a problem with young drivers than any other age group.
  4. Alcohol elevates the accident risk for everyone, but even more so for teens.
  5. Many teen drivers don’t wear seat belts consistently.

How can parents and other adults help?

Many fatalities and injuries from wrecks with teenagers can be avoided. Here are some ways you can reduce your teen’s risk:

  1. Set a good example. The old adage is especially true for driving: “Young people may not always hear what you say, but they always remember what you do.”
  2. Be a conscientious driving teacher by exposing your teens to a wide variety of driving situations.
  3. Restrict your teens’ nighttime driving, particularly for the first six months.
  4. Emphasize that driving with a seat belt is always required.
  5. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for driving after drinking alcohol, and serious consequences for distracted driving. Limit the number of passengers to one or none until your teen driver gains more experience.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident and has any questions, contact GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys at (804) 413-6777. Consultations are free.

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