Reducing Risk of Serious Injury or Death for Teenage Drivers
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teenage death in the United States. Statistics show that 38 percent of teenagers killed in car accidents were speeding, while 24 percent were intoxicated. Of all drivers, teens wear seat belts the least – about 10 percent of high school students admit to not wearing them at all. Studies also reveal that teenage drivers habitually underestimate dangerous driving situations. All of these facts lead to the undeniable conclusion that reducing the driving risks for American teens is a necessity.
Although crash risks are high for this age group, there are multiple factors that can help lower the risks. The first level of defense is to talk to your teenager. Education and communication are vital to helping a teen understand the reality of certain behaviors.
During the first 500 miles of their driving experience, your teenage child is 10 times more likely to be involved in an accident than an experienced driver. Inexperience is consistently cited as a main reason for teen accidents. To battle this, young people need to have a safe place in which to practice critical driving skills. Find time to work with your child in various driving environments, including night driving. Approximately 21 percent of teen accidents occurred because the driver did not scan for possible hazards. Reviewing these simple but essential procedures could ultimately save your child’s life.
Distractions have become especially hazardous for teen drivers. Studies show that, at 55 miles per hour, in the five seconds it takes to check a text message a driver will have driven the length of a football field. Any sort of distraction from a non-driving task creates three times the crash risk for teen drivers. Be sure your child is aware of these statistics. Peer passengers, eating and/or drinking, and self-grooming are several other forms of distraction they should be aware of.
Speeding is responsible for approximately one third of teen crash-related fatalities. Inexperience, immaturity, and thrill-seeking all contribute to this risky behavior. Again, talking to your son or daughter about the consequences will help instill the importance of safe driving. Investigate speeding fines and reckless driving penalties where you reside. Talk to them about the dangers of speeding at night and in hazardous weather conditions.
Drinking and Driving
Of the 12.8 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes in the U.S, 40 percent involved intoxicated teens. Driving while intoxicated causes a plethora of dangers behind the wheel, including impaired vision, affected judgement, lowered inhibitions, and decreased cognitive functioning. Peer pressure and experimentation are major factors in many teenage lives, and they don’t simply disappear when the teenager gets behind a wheel.
Educating your child on the physical and legal outcomes of driving drunk is the first step in prevention. Investigate laws, as well as the subsequent punishments for breaking those laws, including DUI fines, license revocation, community service requirements, and jail time. Communication is a key element in teaching your child to stay safe.
Horn Law – Serving Missouri and Kentucky
Any kind of automobile accident is likely to cause a family financial, physical, and emotional distress. This is especially true when it involves a child or teenager. It may be difficult to know how to start the process of getting your life back together. At Horn Law, we are always available for consultations at home, in the hospital, or at other convenient locations. Founder Douglas R. Horn has 25 years of personal injury experience. Horn Law focuses primarily on car, truck, and motorcycle accident injuries. If you reside in Independence, Lee’s Summit, or Blue Springs and have legal needs, contact us today for a free consultation.