20 Oct National Teen Driver Safety Week: 5 NHTSA Tips that Can Save Teen Drivers’ Lives
Traffic accidents are the number one cause of fatality for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 20 years old. What may be more tragic than this is the fact that, in many cases, the behavior(s) of teen drivers behind the wheel are responsible for these deadly traffic collisions.
Looking to combat preventable motor vehicle accidents and promote roadway safety for all, regulators at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) are once again rolling out their 5 to Drive campaign in conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week (which runs through the third week of October each year).
In this teen driving safety campaign, the NHTSA has noted that:
Your teen sees a driver’s license as a step toward freedom, but you might not be sure your teen is ready for the road. One thing is certain: teens aren’t ready to have the same level of driving responsibility as older adults. Teen drivers have more fatal crashes, mainly because of their immaturity and lack of experience.
Talk to Teen Motorists about These Issues, the NHTSA Says
As distressing as it can be to think about inexperienced teens behind the wheel and their risk of getting into a traffic accident, the NHTSA has noted that parents “have more influence” on their teens then they think.
That’s why officials are now strongly encouraging parents to talk about the following driving issues with teen motorists, as well as those who may be on the verge of earning their licenses:
- Never drive drunk – Drunk driving kills someone in the U.S. every 52 minutes. When focusing solely on teen driver collisions that end in at least one death, drunk driving is a factor in nearly 30 percent of these accidents.So, parents, tell teens to call a sober friend, take a cab or find any other alternative to drunk driving. Inform teens of their options/alternatives so they don’t make the poor choice to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol
- Eliminate the distractions when driving – Distracted driving is a factor in about 23 percent of all traffic collisions in the U.S. and in about 11 percent of all fatal crashes involving a teen driver.So, parents, tell teens to put down their phones and avoid all distractions when they drive. Nothing is more important than focusing on the road when behind the wheel. If they need to take a call or do something else, they should pull over, rather than try to multitask while driving.
- Follow the speed limit – Speeding contributes to more than 2 in every 5 deadly teen driver collisions.So, parents, tell teens to follow the speed limit at all times, regardless of whether they may be late for something. Being 10 minutes late and arriving safe/alive is better than gambling with the risk of an accident.
- Don’t drive with other teens in the car – Other teen passengers can exponentially increase the risk of an accident.So, parents, tell teens to limit the passengers they drive around and avoid carting around other teens.
- Always wear a seatbelt – More than half of the teens killed each year in traffic accidents were not buckled up. Many of these lives could have been saved had teens been wearing seatbelts, as seatbelts can reduce the risk of severe injury or death by up to 45 percent when a traffic crash happens.So, parents, tell teens to always buckle up – and make sure you set a good example by doing the same.
Contact a Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of Richard Langerman
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