How to Keep Teen Drivers Safe on the Road
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes than older drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a concerning statistic for parents of teen drivers. Many parents are concerned about their children and look for ways they can ensure their teen’s safety.
The Orlando Car accident lawyers at Michael T. Gibson P.A., have helped many families after motor vehicle crashes. As a result, we’ve created the outline below to explain some safety options for concerned parents of teen drivers. We’ll also review some of the most common causes of teen driver crashes.
Learning How to Avoid Motor Vehicle Crashes
Modern technology has created several devices that teen drivers can use to improve their safe driving practices and avoid teen crashes or at least reduce their crash risk overall.
Insurance Company Webcam
Some insurance companies, such as American Family Insurance, are now offering parents the option of installing a webcam in the rear-view mirror of the car of their teen drivers. The camera records only when a sudden movement is made. The footage is then sent to a secure website where the parent and child can view any unsafe driving behaviors together. This is a way parents and their teens can discuss the mistakes made and help the teen drive safely.
Insurance Company Road Hazard Website
State Farm set up a website with programs on it that assist parents in helping their novice drivers with their driving skills. One of the programs helps young drivers to understand and recognize the hazards that they may come across while driving. By practicing in a simulated environment, a new driver can learn how to avoid situations that could lead to a fatal crash.
Driver’s Education Courses
Almost all public schools offer driver’s education courses as an elective for high school students. These classes are great for practice, and they provide teen driver safety education for young drivers, even those who have a learner’s permit or have already passed a driver’s license test. Driver’s education courses not only offer hands-on learning experience but also reinforce traffic laws, traffic signs, and other types of safe driving behaviors the young driver may need to know in the future.
Supervised Driving Practice
The single best way for your teen to overcome driver inexperience and improve their driving skills is to practice as much as possible. Most of the knowledge and ability to recognize hazards or hazardous road conditions comes from time and practice. The best thing you can do is to take your child out on the road as often as possible to gain experience.
Common Causes of Teen Driver Motor Vehicle Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 2,500 teen drivers ages 16 to 19 were killed in fatal crashes in one recent year. Driver inexperience coupled with common driving challenges can increase the crash risk for teen drivers. Here are some of the most common risks facing teen drivers.
The report issued by the NHTSA found that 10 percent of all teen driving fatal crashes involved distracted driving. Cell phone use, especially texting, is the most common cause of distracted driving that reduces teen driver safety.
With graduated driver licensing, once teen driving licenses no longer have nighttime driving restrictions, the chance of fatal accidents rises significantly. In one recent year, 50 percent of all fatal teen car crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight. Weekends are also more deadly, with 53% of fatal accidents occurring from Friday to Sunday.
Teen drivers can cause accidents when they try to operate a motor vehicle while they are sleepy or after consuming alcohol or drugs that can make them drowsy. Since teens have less experience driving, a drowsy teen cannot respond to hazards or emergency situations as quickly as adult drivers. Also, teens may stay out late or succumb to peer pressure and drive when they have not had sufficient sleep.
Drunk driving and drug use
The NHTSA report also disclosed that in fatal car crashes where a teen driver had been drinking alcohol, 82 percent of those drivers were over the blood alcohol concentration legal limit of .08. Impaired driving, especially for a novice driver, is one of the biggest factors in motor vehicle crashes in general.
Studies also show that some teens, especially male drivers, are more likely to engage in risky driving activities than more mature drivers. Exceeding the speed limit or following too closely behind another vehicle reduces your reaction time, making it difficult to stop suddenly. Risk-taking is most prevalent among male drivers ages 16 to 19, especially if there are male passengers.
Researchers have recently linked a higher crash risk to having teen passengers in the car when a teen is driving. Many states prevent new drivers from carrying too many passengers while they are still learning. Passengers can be another source of distracted driving when the teen drivers are engaged in conversation or otherwise interrupted while driving.
Failure to wear seat belts
Although every state has enacted seat belt laws, the lack of seat belt use among teen drivers is still a leading cause of death. Studies show that 47 percent of all crash-related teen deaths involve drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
Hire an Experienced Orlando Auto Accident Attorney to Help With Teen Driver Car Accidents
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident with a young driver or any other type of collision, it’s important to contact an experienced Orlando Auto Accident Lawyer to help you protect your legal rights. One of our dedicated personal injury attorneys will guide you through the insurance claims process, negotiate a settlement with insurance adjusters on your behalf, or file a lawsuit if a fair settlement is not possible.
When you work with the team at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, we can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Fill out the quick contact form on our website or call (407) 490-1271 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options in greater detail.