This might be stating the obvious, but what the hey, it needs to be said: drivers who have less experience out on the road are more likely to cause a car crash than someone who has driven for many years and learned the ways to avoid personal injuries and property damage in an accident.

Here are some general suggestions for teenage drivers and their parents from our firm’s experienced car accident attorneys:

1. Safety is not in numbers while driving: Studies show that the likelihood of a car accident increases with more passengers, especially with inexperienced teen drivers.  More passengers cause distractions, taking the driver’s focus away from the road.  Therefore, parents are encouraged to limit their teen drivers to one or no passengers for the first six months to a year of driving to avoid a car accident.

2. Eating and driving can lead to a fatal car accident:  Most people know that drinking and driving is extremely dangerous; however, eating and driving can be very dangerous as well.  Eating while driving not only takes away the driver’s focus, but it also forces the driver to take at least one hand off the wheel causing a terrible car accident.  A no eating in the car policy is very important, for passengers as well as drivers.

3. Cell phones and iPods:  Gradually, states are starting to pass laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving.  However, iPods and mp3 devices are often overlooked as distractions.  More cars are now coming equipped with the capability to connect iPods and mp3 players directly to the car stereo, providing new distractions, particularly for teens which could easily lead to a wrongful death on the road.  Doing something as small as creating a driving playlist before driving could alleviate many of the distractions caused by these devices.

4. Airbags:  While airbags save hundreds of thousands of lives each year, people often forget that they are powerful devices that, have the potential to cause serious injuries in a car accident.  Moreover, driving while holding an object can be extremely dangerous if the airbags deploy.  Most airbags are equipped to deploy at 100mph for car accidents occurring at less than 25mph, and 200mph for accidents that occur at speeds greater than 25 mph.  Holding objects while driving puts the driver at risk of having an object fly toward their face at speeds up to 200mph!

5. Night vision: Teens tend to have car accidents in greater numbers when driving at night.  Because the lack of daylight tends to make things look unfamiliar and impairs one’s ability to judge distance, it is more difficult for teens and inexperienced drivers to drive at night.  Unfortunately, most car driving courses are only offered during the daytime, so teens get very little hands-on practice driving at night.  Therefore, it is important for parents to develop night-driving skills with their teens by practicing with them in the evenings which could prevent a terrible car accident.

6. One-Stop Rule:  While teens are still learning how to drive, parents are encouraged to impose a one-stop rule, meaning that they may drive to one place and back home.  For example, if you’re teen wants to drive a car to the mall, inform your teenager to only drive to the mall and back home and not make stops in between, such as picking up a friend, or going to the market.  Frequent stops result in a greater probability for an car accident to occur, so this simple rule could make a difference between getting in a car accident, and not getting in one.

7. Buying a car: Parents often have a hard time deciding what type of car is safest for their new teen driver to be driving.  Many people go for SUVs or trucks because of their size and seeming safety over smaller cars.  However, the problem with large trucks and SUVs is the high center of gravity, which makes them more likely to roll or cause significant damage to other vehicles.  Important safety features to look for in a car include anti-lock brakes, a solid “roll cage,” and multiple airbags.  Our firms’s experienced car accident attorney would suggest a mid-sized or full-sized cars are the safest choice, especially for teen drivers.

8. Safety Belts:  Many parents tend to take for granted the idea that their teens always wear a safety belt when driving.  However, the grim reality is that studies show quite the opposite.  The NHTSA reported that, in 2002, 77% of teens who died in car crashes (both drivers and passengers) were not wearing seat belts.

Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney and find out how we can help you.  We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case.  No fee if no recovery.