With the school year coming to a close and summer on the way, more teen drivers will be on the roads. The month of May is recognized as National Youth Traffic Safety Month and it is important that teens remain safe and responsible behind the wheel.
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012, approximately 421,000 people were injured in vehicle crashes that involved a distracted driver. The number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes was 3,328. 11% of these fatalities were people under the age of 20 who were distracted at the time of the crash. 21% of drivers between the ages of 15-19, involved in fatal crashes, were distracted by the use of cell phones.
Many accidents occur because teens are texting while driving. One of the largest advocates for teen safety and the leading peer-to-peer youth education and prevention is Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), a national organization that encourages teens to take the pledge to not text and drive. SADD has thousands of chapters across the country, in middle schools, high schools and colleges, each operated by volunteers.
Every year, SADD as well as other groups across the United States, band together to promote teen safety and safe driving practices for teens.
Below are some teen safety practices that drivers should be aware of and use:
- Avoid distractions while driving. Things like talking or texting on cell phones, eating, putting on makeup, even using hands-free devices are distractions that put your life at risk while driving.
- Wear your seat belts at all times. Seat belts can lower your risk of dying in a crash by 45%.
- Practice defensive driving. Being aware of your surroundings is important. Make sure to be mindful of the cars around you and always keep safe distance between you and the car ahead of you.
- Stay with the speed limits. Being aware of your speed is another important tip. Speed limits represent the maximum speed you can drive. Make sure not to go beyond the limit.
- Stay focused, visually and mentally when on the road. If your mind wanders and you fail to pay attention, you are at risk. Understand the dangers of the cognitive distraction to the brain.
- Share with others about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving.
- Parents: Set a positive example. Follow the above rules and do not use your cell phone while driving.
With graduation and prom approaching, more teens will be on the road this spring and summer. For many teens, the common belief of “It can’t happen to me,” is simply not true, especially when it comes to vehicle crashes. Parents and teens are encouraged to take time this National Youth Traffic Safety Month to become fully aware of the dangers involved with teen driving. Safety is the number one priority, so make sure you and your teen stay safe while on the road.
For More Information About Youth Traffic Safety Month
- Survey Shows Parents Directly Affect Their Teen’s Driving Habits
- Questions And Answers About Youth Traffic Safety Month
Talk To Your Teen About Driver Safety
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, it is important that you contact an experienced Orlando car accident attorney, immediately. The insurance company will not automatically pay you the settlement you deserve. At the law office of Michael T. Gibson, our dedicated team of attorneys will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. following your car accident.