How to Help Back-To-School Teen Drivers Stay Safe on the Road
If you have a teenager going back to school this year, you likely have many concerns as they get behind the wheel to head to school. While teenage drivers might be more prone to make errors, become distracted by phones or passengers, or might be tempted to speed or drive recklessly, with the right parental guidance, you can rest easier knowing your child is reasonably safe.
If you or someone close to you was injured in a car accident, contact Buckingham County car accident lawyer Herbert E. Maxey Jr. for help. He has more than four decades of experience helping those who’ve been injured in car accidents throughout Virginia, and he’ll be ready to fight for you when you call or reach out online.
Dangers Teen Drivers Face
Teen drivers are far more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents than people over 20. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teens ages 16-19 have a fatal crash rate per mile driven that is three times higher than the rate for drivers over the age of 20. According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the second largest cause of death for teens in the United States.
There are many dangers and obstacles facing a teen that is just learning to drive, including the following:
- According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the risk of death per mile driven for teen drivers quadruples when carrying three or more passengers in the car. The danger is highest when the passengers are all teens themselves, when an adult passenger is present, the risk diminishes.
- Distracted driving. The increasingly common distractions from cell phones and the ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) mentality mean that teen drivers text and talk on the phone while driving more than almost any other age group. The CDC states that nearly 40% of teen drivers admit to texting or sending an email while driving.
- Teen drivers, especially young male drivers, were responsible for 43% of all speeding-related driver and passenger deaths from 2015-2019, according to the GHSA.
- The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that over 75% of teen driver crashes were due to critical errors, meaning driving too fast for conditions, distracted driving, or inadequate surveillance of the surrounding area. These are all preventable errors that can be corrected with time and experience behind the wheel.
- Driver fatigue. Teen drivers are often burning the candle at both ends with extra-curricular activities, nightly homework, and unpredictable sleep schedules. Driving with fatigue can increase response time, decrease surveillance, and affect judgment for stopping distances.
- Seatbelt use. Per the CDC, over 40% of teen drivers admitted to not wearing a seat belt while driving in 2019. Seatbelts have been proven to save lives and instilling their importance in new drivers is paramount.
Tips to Keep Teen Drivers Safe
Here are some helpful tips for your new driver to keep them safe when behind the wheel:
- Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
- Turn off your cell phone and place it out of reach while driving.
- No passengers under 18.
- Set the seat, climate control, mirror, and stereo settings before you start your journey.
- Stay alert to road and traffic conditions and try to anticipate movements around you.
- Stay under the speed limit.
- Avoid sudden moves, such as jerking the steering wheel or slamming on the brakes.
- Do not consume alcohol or drugs before driving.
Injured? How Herbert Maxey Can Help
Buckingham car accident lawyer Herbert E. Maxey, Jr. has provided top-notch legal representation to those who’ve been injured for more than forty years. If you or someone close to you was injured in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence, he’ll be ready to put his skills to work for you. Call us at (434) 969-4873 or reach out to us online for a 100% free consultation.