May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, and it is a perfect time to remind your teen drivers — and yourself — about driving safety. Auto accidents account for approximately one-third of teen deaths, according to the National Vital Statistics System. We could prevent many of these deaths by showing all new drivers a few safe driving practices and teaching them about the consequences of driving distracted or under the influence.
Talk To Your Teen About Texting and Driving
Texting and driving has become a national epidemic. Distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, cites texting as the most alarming and deadly type of distracted driving. According to 2013 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ten percent of teen drivers ages 15 to 19 killed in an accident were distracted at the time of impact.
Laying down rules for phone use in the car is the first step in keeping them safe. Remind them that all messages and calls can wait until they stop and park. To ensure your teen understands the gravity of texting and driving dangers, ask them to sign a pledge to avoid phone use while driving.
Talk To Your Teen About Drinking and Driving
It is an awkward, difficult conversation, but you need to have it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in ten high school students admit to drinking and driving. Furthermore, teen drivers are 17 times more likely to die in a car crash when they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit, compared to driving while sober.
To help foster safe choices with your teen; let them know that you would much rather they call you for a ride or incur the cost of a taxi or Uber than to drive home drunk. Teens may be more receptive to asking for help getting home after drinking if they know you will not be waiting to pounce on them when you get home; consider making a deal with them the first time, i.e., if they call you instead of drinking and driving, you will not punish them.
Lead By Example
Your children learn from your actions, so anytime you are in the car with your teen, make sure you are setting a good example. Practice what you preach by not using your phone while driving and never driving after drinking alcohol. Even little things like speeding or reckless driving can make an impression on your teen, who will likely learn how to drive from your instructions.
No matter how hard we strive to keep our kids safe, sometimes accidents happen that are not our fault. Call the car accident attorneys at Montero Law Center to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation after your accident.
Contact us today at 954-767-6500.