Parents of teen drivers frequently try to set rules to reduce the chances of their sons or daughters getting hurt in a motor vehicle accident. A teen driving is a frightening thing for a parent, especially since the statistics show collisions are the No. 1 cause of death among young people.
Unfortunately, sometimes parents are not aware of the greatest risks that their children face behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aims to draw attention to high risk teen driving behaviors during National Teen Driver Safety Week, which took place at the end of October 2014. A part of this campaign urged parents to talk to their teens about a different driver safety issue on each of the five days. While the teen driver safety week is over for the year, a personal injury lawyer knows there is never a bad time for parents to begin a conversation about staying safe behind the wheel.
Parents Can Make a Big Impact on Preventing Collisions
According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are a number of different ways in which parents are involved in setting the conditions for teen drivers. For example, parents control:
- When their children are able to get a driver’s license.
- The access their kids have to a vehicle.
- The rules the family sets for driving, as well as punishments for breaking the rules.
- The vehicle that a teen uses to drive.
- When and how they teach their children to drive and the extent of supervision of teen drivers.
- How their own behavior behind the wheel serves as a role model for their kids.
Many parents set rules related to when children can drive, where they can go and what time they should be home. Unfortunately, parents often don’t spend a lot of time talking about dangerous driving conditions and some parents are unaware of the biggest hazards their kids face. For example, parents often don’t talk to their children about the risk of driving with numerous teen passengers. However, the NHTSA indicates having just one teen passenger in the car more than doubles the risk of dangerous teen driving behavior. Meanwhile, having multiple teen passengers in the car results in three times the risk of dangerous behaviors.
To help parents know exactly what subjects they should raise with their kids, the NHTSA listed five key issues in the “5 to Drive” campaign. Parents are urged to talk to their kids about:
- Not using cell phones or texting while driving.
- Not having extra passengers in the car with them while driving.
- Not speeding.
- Not consuming alcohol before driving
- Not driving or riding in a car without having a seat belt on.
In 2012, there were 1,875 young people between the ages of 15 and 20 killed in fatal car accidents and teens of this age group were involved in a total of 4,283 crashes. Parents should do everything possible to talk to their kids so they can reduce the chances that a collision will occur.
Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 or visit http://www.herreralaw.com for a free case consultation. Serving San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, and Terrell Hills.