Safety for Teen Drivers
The day they finally get a driver’s license is a big event in most teenagers’ lives. Being able to drive themselves to and from activities without mom and dad’s involvement means greater freedom; but with that freedom comes responsibility. Driving is a privilege, and while they may have known enough about operating a vehicle to pass their driver’s exam, that is only the beginning. It takes time to learn how to properly handle a car in a variety of traffic, road, and weather conditions, and the general inexperience of young drivers can lead to accident. Car accidents involving teen drivers claim an unfortunate number of lives each year. If you are the parent of a teen, knowing the risks and setting some boundaries can help ensure your child stays safe on the road, while also protecting the safety of passengers and other drivers.
Accidents Involving Teen Drivers
According to the CDC, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are more at risk for being involved in a car accident than any other age group. Teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers over the age of 20, and the risk of being involved in a serious accident is highest during the first six months these drivers get their license. Common causes of accidents involving teen drivers include:
- Underestimating or disregarding dangerous conditions
- Not recognizing hazardous road, traffic, or weather conditions
- Tendency to drive at greater speeds
- Tailgating and challenging other drivers
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Engaging in risky driving behavior such as speeding or tailgating is a contributing factor in close to half of accident involving teenage motorists. Teen drivers are also less likely to wear seat belts, resulting in greater injuries as the result of car accidents.
Setting Limits and Making Rules for Teen Drivers
For parents of teenaged drivers, one way to ensure your child’s safety is by establishing ground rules. Half of all teen driving fatalities occur between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight, as well as on the weekends, so limiting your child’s driving time at these points can help to increase their safety. According to the National Highway traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), parents need to set the standard for their children by modeling safe driving techniques. Talk about safety issues your child is likely to face, and set up some ground rules for teen drivers, such as:
- Always wear a seat belt
- No cell phones or texting while driving
- Set a curfew for when they need to have the car back
- Limit the number of passengers
- Emphasize that under no circumstances are they to get behind the wheel if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
By setting and enforcing limits, you can ensure your young drivers enjoy the privileges of driving without risking the safety of themselves or their passengers.
Let Our Attorneys Help You
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured due to a car accident or as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury and car accident attorneys provide the aggressive legal representation necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. We have offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, so call us today for a free review of your case.