What You Should Know About Teen Driving
Learn the causes, reasons, and circumstances that lead to the increased risk of teen driver related accidents. Below the experienced auto accident attorneys at Michael T. Gibson have outlined some of the key factors to teen driving crashes, and what you can do to help prevent them.
Car accidents remain one of the top causes of death for teen’s ages 15 to 20 years old, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drivers between the ages of 16 years old and 19 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident than older drivers. In 2010, car crashes killed more than seven young people per day and resulted in approximately 282,000 people injured.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents are so concerned with the risks of their young drivers on the road they have started taking matters into their own hands. Some parents are installing tracking technology or cameras in their vehicles in order to monitor their teenager’s driving behavior. The company, American Family Insurance offers parents the option to install a camera in the rearview mirror. The camera records and saves only when it senses a sudden movement. The video is uploaded to a secure website where the parent and child can review what happened, in order to correct bad driving habits.
Why are Young Drivers at a Greater Risk of an Accident?
There are many reasons attributed to young drivers being involved in more accidents than older drivers. Perhaps the most common reason is inexperience. Drivers learn good driving habits over time. For example, experienced drivers are more likely to spot hazardous road conditions early enough to avoid them. Inexperienced drivers are less familiar with hazardous road conditions such as snow, ice, rain, wind and areas where there are likely to be pedestrians. Driver’s license tests and driver education courses barely skim the surface of the necessary driving and motor vehicle knowledge.
Another reason attributed to high crash rates with younger drivers is distraction. Due to social, emotional, physical and cognitive development in teenagers, they are more likely to act impulsively while driving. Teenagers are more likely to participate in distracted driving than older drivers. They are also more likely to be distracted by passengers in the vehicle. Teenagers are likely to be distracted with mobile devices while driving. Not only are teenagers more likely to drive while distracted, they are also less likely to be capable of effectively dealing with distraction while driving.
Young drivers are also more prone to car accidents due to exposure. Young drivers are more likely to be driving under hazardous conditions such as after midnight. They are also more likely to be driving with several passengers in their vehicle. Approximately 80 percent of car accidents involving young drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight. As a result, some states have laws prohibiting young drivers from driving at night.
3 Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers
Here are few tips to help transition your teen into a thoughtful, considerate, defensive, and safe driver:
- Let them drive with you as frequently as possible – While it may feel odd having your teen driving instead of you after you played the role of chauffeur for all those years, it is important that they get experience every chance they can. Whenever possible, have your teen drive instead of you so that they can rack up the hours on the road.
- Don’t let them drive with their friends – One of the easiest ways a teen can be distracted is if they are driving with their friends in the car. This can lead to peer pressure and other types of distractions.
- Create a contract – While it may seem a bit silly at first, having a contract in place clearly outlining your expectations for your teen while on the road will make him more accountable for his actions. Be sure to have a punishment, or removal of privilege, clause in the written contract. A contract solidifies your stance on practicing safe driving behavior.
Some Additional Considerations for Teen Driving Safety:
- Always wear a seatbelt. Although seatbelt safety is taught in driver’s education courses, it is oftentimes ignored in “real life.” Encouraging your teenager to buckle up each and every time might save his or her life if an accident happens.
Pay full attention to the road. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of auto accidents in Florida. Tell your young driver not to send text messages or make phone calls while driving. Ask him or her to place the phone out of reach, so there’s less temptation to use it while driving.
- Obey the speed limit. Many people—and young drivers in particular—feel fearless when they’re behind the wheel. They often think it’s no big deal to disobey the speed limit, but speeding is another leading cause of Florida car accidents. Explain to your teenager why it’s important to keep within the posted speed limit.
- Understand safe lane behavior. Making lane changes and passing in dangerous areas can easily result in an accident. If you notice your teenager changing lanes or passing another vehicle incorrectly, be sure to let him or her know the proper way to handle the situation the next time.
Below are some articles that may help when you are discussing driving safety with your teen driver:
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you have additional questions about teen driving safety please call our office today at 407-422-4529 and speak with an experienced auto accident attorney.
Orlando, FL 32814