With summer upon us, it means the kids are out of school and the sun is out. Your teen is likely eager to take to the roads for beach trips and fun in the sun with friends. While seeing your teen begin to drive is an exciting time, it is also one of the most stressful times for parents—and with good reason.
As described by Teen Driver Source, the chance of getting into an auto accident is higher for teen drivers (ages 16-19) than it is for any other age group. Not only are they at the highest risk for accidents, but auto accidents are also the leading cause of death in teens. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help prepare your teen for safe travel this summer.
Whether your teen is going to the movies, the pool, or on a long road trip, it is important that you ensure their safety to the best of your ability before they depart. According to the National Safety Council (NSC) you should set the rules for your teen before they leave using their “5 to drive”:
● No cell phone usage while driving
● No additional passengers
● No speeding/running lights/stop signs
● No alcohol
● No driving without the use of a seat belt
Inform Your Teen of the Main Causes of Accidents
According to Teen Driver Source, 75% of all severe teen driver accidents are a direct result of driver errors. The three errors that occur most often are:
● Driving at an unsafe speed for the road - Studies show that speeding is the cause of 21% of severe auto accidents including a teen error. While speeding to many is going faster than the posted speed limit sign, it also includes going at a speed which is not suited for the road conditions. This includes:
○ Bad weather
○ Poor visibility
○ Poor road conditions (potholes, unfinished roadways, etc.)
Teaching your teen to take extra precaution in areas they are unfamiliar with is a crucial part of keeping them safe on the roads.
● Distracted driving - Distraction is said to be a key contributing factor in 58% of accidents involving teen drivers. Driving distracted is nearly as dangerous as driving under the influence. Common examples of distracted driving include:
○ Watching videos
○ Putting on makeup
○ Engaging in conversation with passengers
In addition to informing your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, you will also want to be sure that you are setting a good example. Make sure to stay off your phone while driving and to be sure to show restraint from getting distracted from the road.
● Improper Scanning - One of the most common things teen drivers lack is the experience to anticipate where and when traffic hazards may occur, and this causes them to fail to position their vehicle out of harm's way. Some examples of potential hazards your teen may encounter on the road include:
○ Cars pulling in front of your teen from a parking lot
○ Pedestrians that may be hidden until it’s too late
○ Vehicles disobeying traffic laws (running red lights, speeding, etc.)
○ Common road hazards (potholes, slippery on ramps, unfinished pavement)
These types of accidents are most often caused by a teen improperly scanning their surroundings while driving. While there is no surefire way to make sure your teen is properly scanning their surroundings because this is a skill developed over time, you can advocate for them to do so as often as they can.
Speak With Us if Your Teen is Involved in an Auto Accident
When your teen is involved in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, it is imperative that you seek the representation they deserve. Our attorneys at Harmon Parker have many years of experience dealing with these types of cases.
Call (813) 452-4144 today to schedule your free case evaluation.