According to statistics provided by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 35% of teen deaths are caused by traffic accidents. Parents know there is nothing more heartbreaking than having a child cut down in the prime of their life. Teens think they are invulnerable and accidental deaths are things that happen to “other people,” not them.
Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to help your teenager avoid a car accident, which may save lives and heartache. The best courses of action you can take include seatbelt use, education on limiting distractions and a zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use.
Avoiding a Car Accident Fatality by Buckling Your Seatbelt: This is one step you can take long before your teenager obtains their drivers license. It is never too early to establish a good habit, and buckling in every time you get in a car is a good habit to acquire. Many states have seatbelt laws that require everyone in a vehicle to buckle their seatbelt or risk a high fine. Their slogan is “Click it or ticket!” Regardless of whether your state requires seatbelt use, if you get your children in the habit of using their seatbelt every time they get in the car, it will become second nature and could end up saving their lives someday.
Education on Limiting Distractions: Talk to your children about things they need to do when driving. Most importantly, they need to pay attention to the road and there surroundings. That means avoiding as many distractions as possible. There is an old saying in driver’s education that when you are driving, your best friend becomes your worst enemy. That is because friends tend to distract drivers, although not intentionally, they still can be a major distraction, including having a driver turn to face their friend when engaged in a conversation.
Cell phones are another distraction. Although many of know we should not talk or text while driving, even having a cell phone ring or a text message beep often creates a curiosity that can be overwhelming. It is recommended that cell phones be turned off or silenced while driving, or at least give your cell phone to another passenger to tell you who is calling or texting.
Drugs, Drinking and Driving Is a Recipe for Disaster: Drug and alcohol use, especially among teenagers, is one of the leading causes of traffic accident fatalities. According to the NHTSA:
- Each year thousands of teens are killed or injured in traffic crashes as a result of underage drinking.
- During 2006, 7,643 15- to 20-year-old drivers and motorcycle operators were involved in fatal traffic crashes across the Nation, 1,377 (18 percent) of whom had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, despite the fact that it is illegal for teens to drive after drinking any alcohol.
- Nationally, 64 percent of all drivers or motorcycle operators ages 15 to 20 who were involved in fatal traffic crashes and had a BAC of .08 or higher died as a result of the crash.
Teenagers have their whole life ahead of them, help them make sure they don’t do anything to unnecessarily jeopardize their future. Help them to be responsible drivers.
If your teenager is unfortunate enough to get into a car accident and is seriously injured or killed, an experienced attorney can provide you with counsel and representation. Although we represent accident victims and their families, our preference would be to help you avoid an auto accident in the first place.
With more than 26 years of experience, the attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg give every case personal attention from the day of your first consultation until the day your case is resolved by way of settlement or trial.
For more information contact a personal injury lawyer at Weber & Nierenberg by calling 1-866-288-6010 for a free consultation.