This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a time to focus on the real dangers teens face when driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die, yet a recent survey found that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the importance of driving safely.
The NHTSA stresses the following rules for teens in its “5 To Drive” campaign:
1. No cell phones while driving
2. No extra passengers
3. No speeding
4. No alcohol
5. No driving or riding without a seatbelt
The “5 to Drive” campaign was launched during Teen Driver Safety Week in 2013, and it addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The idea behind the campaign is to give parents the words to use when they talk with their teens about driving.
Approximately 60% of the teens that died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing a seatbelt and 48% of those killed were speeding. Teens are involved in speeding-related crashes at a rate 60% higher than that of adults. As parents, we must set a good example for our children by always wearing a seatbelt and ensuring they understand the importance of wearing theirs. Seatbelts save lives. We must also follow posted speed limits and other rules of the road and set a good example in that regard as well.
In 2012, NHTSA statistics showed that 28% of teen drivers, age 15 to 20, who were killed in crashes, had been drinking. This is appalling, considering it is illegal for youth under 21 to purchase or drink alcohol.
Texting and driving has also become a serious problem, especially among teens. In 2012, of the teen drivers involved in distraction-related fatal crashes, cell phones distracted nearly 1 in 5. Extra passengers in the vehicle also cause distraction for teens, as the risk of accidents goes up with each additional passenger. Just one passenger raises a teen driver’s risk of a fatal crash by 44% Teens need to be focusing on the road, not on other passengers in their vehicle.
The National Safety Council warns parents that the most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months after receiving a license. A teen drivers’ crash risk is three times that of a driver over 20.
How can you help your teen? Act as a role model and lead by example. According to the National Safety Council, a survey from The Allstate Foundation found that 80% of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over their driving habits. The NHTSA’s website www.safercar.gov/parents has detailed information and statistics about the five rules designed to help save the lives of teen drivers. Talk to your teen today.
If your teen has been the victim of a car crash, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can help. Munley Law specializes in fighting for victims of car, truck and bus accidents, and we can fight for you. For a free consultation, call Munley Law at 855-866-5529.