This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, a time to focus on the importance of talking to your teen about driving safely and without distractions. The National Highway Transportation Safety Authority reported that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18-year-old teenagers in the U.S. The CDC reported that in 2013, 243,243 teens ages 16-19 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in vehicle crashes.
The injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia encourage you to talk to your teens today and set rules regarding safe teen driving:
- No texting while driving
- No cell phone use while driving
- No speeding
- No driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Always wear a seatbelt – both drivers and passengers
- Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle with your teen
Research shows that the risk of fatal teen car accidents goes up in relation to the number of teens in the car. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a teen driving statistics study this year that found significant evidence that distracted driving is a serious problem for teens, and distraction was a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate to severe teen crashes. According to the teen driving report, interacting with one or more passenger was a factor in 15% of the teen crashes studied and cell phone use was a factor in 12% of the crashes. Other distractions included looking at something in or out of the vehicle and not paying attention to the road, singing or moving to music, grooming, and reaching for objects.
Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations and engage in behaviors such as speeding, not wearing seatbelts, or drinking and driving. According to the CDC, of the teens, ages 13-20, who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2013, approximately 56% were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Driving is a skill that takes time to be learned. A teen’s lack of driving experience coupled with their fearless behaviors put teen drivers and their passengers at risk. A detailed teen driver course and supervision, as well as graduated drivers licenses, can help to better educate and train teen drivers and save young lives.
As parents, we can help our teens by better educating them on the importance of safe driving, as well as taking an active interest in ensuring they get the supervised driving experience they need. This should include practicing on different types of roads at different times of the day and night. We can also lead by example by driving distraction free, wearing our seat belts at all times, and following the rules of the road. We need to set rules for teen driving, including limiting the number of passengers in a vehicle and also limiting nighttime driving. By focusing on safe driving habits and better training, you can help keep your teen safe.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call the Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Wilkes-Barre at 570-714-HURT or in Philadelphia at 215-575-9237.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.