Parents are right to worry about their teenage drivers. Every year, car crashes claim the lives of more than 2,700 teenagers and send an additional 282,000 teens to the emergency room. Since parents are often the ones who teach their teenagers to drive – it is important for parents to take some time to teach their teens more than just how to parallel park. Some of the most important lessons parents can teach their teens about driving have absolutely nothing to do with ACTUAL driving and everything to do with staying safe behind the wheel.
Driving Tips to Teach Your Teenagers
- Buckle Up ALWAYS – teenagers often erroneously believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them. As such, they are more likely to take risks and they are less likely to buckle up in the car when driving or riding as a passenger. Wearing a seat belt is the single best way to prevent devastating injuries from occurring in an accident – and countless teenagers have walked away from crashes simply because they were buckled up. The CDC estimates that seat belt use reduces serious crash-related injuries and deaths by 50%. Unfortunately, the CDC also found that more than half of the teenagers who died in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
- Never Drink and Drive – teenagers are not supposed to be consuming alcohol – since they are not 21 years of age. Unfortunately, many teenagers routinely break this law and drink under age. They may also ride in cars with other teenagers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The CDC estimates that one in 10 teenagers in high schools drinks and drives. Even worse, drivers between 16 and 20 are 17x more likely to die in a crash when they have a BAC of 0.08% or greater. Teach your teenager to NEVER drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to never get into the car with someone who has been drinking. Give them the phone number to Uber or to a cab company, and promise to pay the bill.
- Avoid Loud & Distracting Passengers – teenagers love to drive around in cars with their friends. This can be a great way to carpool to and from school, parties, and other activities. Yet, passengers are often distracting for teenage drivers. One study found that having two or more peer passengers in the car more than triples the risk of teenagers getting into a fatal accident. Of those involved in serious accident, 71% of males and 47% of females were directly distracted by their passengers’ movements or actions. In addition, when friends are in the car – male teenagers were 6x more likely to perform aggressive or illegal driving maneuvers.
- Don’t Use Cellphones while Driving – it is important that your teenager understand the dangers of using their cellphone while driving. Talking on the phone, texting, surfing the Internet, and searching for music can all lead to deadly accidents. In fact, recent statistics show that a third of teenage drivers reported that they texted or emailed while driving in the last month alone. Crash risk is also 4x higher when a driver uses their cell phone – even when using hands-free devices.
- Limit Night Driving – Nighttime driving can be dangerous for many reasons. At night, teenagers are more tired and less likely to make appropriate driving decisions. Also, nighttime can lead to a decrease in vision, making it more likely to hit an animal, other vehicle, or pedestrian. Many graduated license programs place limits on the amount of time teenager drivers can drive at night. It is estimated that up to 17% of all teenage car accident fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight. Twenty four percent of all fatal teenage car accidents occurred between midnight and 6 a.m. Set curfews for your teenage drivers and expect them to stick to it.
Contact Our Jackson Car Accident Lawyers
If your teenager is involved in a car accident in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, we can help. You need an experienced Mississippi car accident attorney on your side that will protect your child’s rights and assist you in receiving a fair settlement for your child’s injuries.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for injured Mississippi car accident victims – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.