Teens Behind the Wheel: How To Keep Them Safe

For teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that nearly 100,000 teenagers in that age group are injured yearly. Almost 2,000 teenage drivers every year are killed in vehicle crashes.

Parents play a role in keeping their children harm-free. Here are three steps you can take to make sure that your teens are safe when they’re behind the wheel.

1. Teach Them Safety Tips

Teens need to be taught good driving practices and safety tips from the minute they begin to drive. If you teach your teenager how to drive, be sure and inculcate good safety practices. Emphasize the importance of following safety rules and regulations, such as obeying the speed limit, stopping at stop signs and red lights, and yielding the right-of-way appropriately.

Many schools and organizations offer defensive driving classes for new drivers. While these are frequently a method of obtaining discounts on car insurance, remember that the more important focus is, of course, to teach drivers to take into account potential errors in the behavior of other drivers, such as signaling for a turn and then driving straight. Motorists who pull out in front of a car expecting it to turn as the signal indicates are sometimes unfortunately surprised by being in a collision.

2. Emphasize the Dangers of Drunk Driving

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10% of high school students admit that they drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol causes the likelihood of vehicle accidents to rise.

In fact, for drivers 16 to 20 years old, a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or above, the legal limit for a DUI, makes them 17 times more likely to be in a fatal crash.

Emphasize that teens who have been drinking should never get behind a wheel. Set up a system for a nondrinking friend to drive, for parents to pick up kids after a party, or for a taxi or car service to be called.

3. Publicize the Dangers of Distracted Driving, Especially Texting

All ages love their cell phones, and no one is more active on them than teenagers. Unfortunately, texting or e-mailing while driving is extremely dangerous.

A new study published in August reports that roughly 40% of teen drivers in the U.S. say that they text and drive. Texting is one of the chief components of distracted driving, in which drivers aren’t fully attentive to the road.

Even more frightening, over half of teenagers who are 15 years old or under say they have driven while texting or e-mailing within the past month.

Be clear with teens: distracted driving of any kind jeopardizes their safety behind the wheel. Never text, e-mail, or make any other use of a cell phone while driving.

If You Need a Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer in New York

 If you have been injured because another driver was texting and driving, call the experienced New York auto accident lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye.

We will fight to see that justice is done if someone else’s negligence behind the wheel caused your injury. Your first consultation with a seasoned Long Island texting & driving accident lawyer occurs at no charge to you. Call us today at 1.800.469.7429.

Additional Resources:

  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs. Teen driving and drinking: a dangerous mix. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/teendrinkinganddriving/index.html
  2. Young, Sarah D. “Nearly 40 percent of teens text while driving, study finds.” Consumer Affairs. August 20, 2018. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/nearly-40-percent-of-teens-text-while-driving-study-finds-082018.html