Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and unfortunately, it is just when the summer begins that the majority of these accidents happen. Teens are out of school and on the road, spending more time with their friends. According to a study released by AAA, as well as accident data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the dates that have the highest number of car accident fatalities are June 10, July 4, July 9, August 8, and August 14. AAA has even dubbed the stretch between Memorial Day and the start of the school year the “100 Deadliest Days.”
For teen drivers, as well as their parents, it can help to be prepared and be safe on the roads this summer. Here is a list of summer driving safety tips to remember:
- Practice, practice, practice. Driver’s education can only do so much to get teens ready for the road. Driving is an enormous responsibility. That extra road practice with a parent can go a long way. It is recommended that the teen’s parents continuously monitor the progress their teen driver is making on the road. Make sure that they are still exercising the safety tips taught in driver’s education and following the rules of the road.
- Be a Good Example: Your teen is also watching how you Make sure that you are ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to safe driving behaviors. Follow the rules of the road, keeping your hands on the wheel and not texting while driving.
- Parent-Teen Driving Agreement: Parents should put these expectations and guidelines in writing so that their teen drivers have no choice but to put in writing that they will follow not only the rules of the road but their parent’s rules, as well when behind the wheel.
- Wear Seatbelts: This should go without saying, but wearing a seatbelt is the law. Always be sure that your teen is wearing his or her seatbelt- not only to avoid getting a ticket, but to save his or her life.
- Zero Tolerance: Make sure it is clearly understood that the household has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Emphasize how very important it is that the teen never get behind the wheel after drinking, and if he or she is in a situation where another driver has been drinking, make sure your child is comfortable calling you to get them instead of allowing the intoxicated driver to take him or her home.
- Driving Is a Privilege: No matter what teens may think, driving is a privilege and not a right. Make sure your teen driver understands just how serious the privilege of driving is, and do not hesitate to take that privilege away if necessary.
- Never Text and Drive: Teens are attached to their phones, and this can be a serious problem when the teen driver is behind the wheel. According to statistics from 2011, at least 23 percent of all car accidents reported involved use of a cell phone. In fact, 13 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 years old in car accidents admitted they were texting or talking on their cell phones when the accident occurred. Make sure your teen understands just how serious this problem is and be sure to set the example for the teen by not doing it yourself either.
- Limit Night Driving: The risk of a fatal crash involving a teen driver doubles at night, with more than half of these accidents occurring between 9 p.m. and midnight. If your teen has to be somewhere at night, drive him or her instead.
- Limit Distractions: A cell phone is a big distraction behind the wheel, but it is only one distraction. Emphasize to your teen the importance of keeping his or her eyes on the road. Avoid changing the radio station, adjusting the GPS, even eating and drinking behind the wheel is a dangerous distraction. Limit the number of passengers who are in the vehicle who could potentially distract the driver.
- Get the Details: Lastly, talk with your teen driver to know where they are going and what time they will be home. Get a list of names and phone numbers of the people your teen will be with. Know who will be in the car with your teen, and if he or she is not driving, know who is driving. Make sure your teen driver has a way of reaching you at all times. If plans change throughout the evening, your teen needs to notify you and give you this new information and set a curfew for when he or she has to be home.
Raising a teen driver is a hard task, but it is important that the boundaries be set and maintained to avoid a serious or deadly auto accident this summer.
FREE CONSULTATION WITH A MIAMI AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, it is very important to consult with an experienced Miami auto accident attorney immediately. Florida auto accident victims have only 14 days to seek initial medical attention to receive insurance benefits after an accident, so it is important you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible following the accident. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws and since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families- and hold auto insurers like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others accountable for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages suffered by our clients. Contact us today and speak with an experienced Miami auto accident attorney toll free 1-866-597-4529, local 305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Call us today, we are ready to help.