This week is Teen Driving Safety Week in California, so there’s never been a better time to educate young drivers on how to be responsible drivers on the road. San Diego car accidents happen often, and especially to newly licensed teenagers who are almost always inexperienced drivers.
The non-profit group Impact Teen Drivers serve up statistics that demonstrate the need for teen driving education more than ever: Reckless and distracted driving is the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, claiming 3,500 teen lives in 2009.
More than two-thirds of fatal teen crashes can be attributed to distracted driving. And, according to ABC News, more than three-fourths of the fatal crashes occurred on roads with speed limits higher than 45 mph.
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3 Ways to Encourage Safe Teen Driving
Teen injury accidents happen too frequently to be ignored. Just recently, a teenager was killed on the I-5 freeway in Southern California after inexperience and risky driving ejected the driver from the vehicle.
In spirit of Teen Driving Safety Week, please share these driving tips with your teens, friends, and other parents. Let’s do our part as San Diegans to prevent teen car accidents.
Tip No. 1 – Enforce Driving Rules
The best way to prevent a teenage injury car accident is to enforce driving rules. Create a safe environment by implementing the following driving rules for your teen driver:
- No driving at night, or past 9 pm, and no freeway driving past dusk.
- Limit friends in the car, and consider allowing friends in the vehicle only when you are present.
- Enforce a zero-tolerance policy to texting and driving, and cell phone use while driving.
- Always require your teen to wear a seatbelt—no matter what!
Tip No. 2 – Be a strict, but be a sensible parent: allow your teen to call upon you in times of need
While it’s critical to emphasize the dangers of drinking and driving, offer your teen “free” rides if s/he has made a bad judgment call and is too inebriated to drive.
Teens will be teens. As much as we want our teenagers to make the best decisions, there will be moments of relapse when our teens will engage in foolish behavior. If a risky situation presents itself, you want your teen to call upon you for help.
The last thing you’d want is your teen driving himself home after a night of drinking because they are too afraid to call you. Allow your teen to call upon you in times of need, and then talk to your teen afterward about your disappointment. Be sure your teen knows what s/he can do next time to make better decisions.
It’s better to save your teen’s life and prevent injury accidents than to hinder communication and scare your teen into a dangerous situation.
Tip No. 3 – Equip your teen with useful car technology
The easiest way to follow a rule is to make it easy—the easier a rule is, the more likely your teen will follow it. That’s why it’s important to equip your child with useful, up-to-date car technology that will increase your teen’s safety on the road. For instance, if your teen is attached to their cell phone, consider purchasing a hands-free Bluetooth device. This way, your teen driver will not be tempted to talk and drive.
Car accidents unfortunately do happen, and they are sometimes beyond our control. If you have been hit and injured by a teen driver, a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, can evaluate your case free of charge. Call us at 1-858-551-2090 or contact us online.
For more information on Teen Driving Safety Week, visit www.impactteendrivers.org/