The start of the summer season also signifies the beginning of a time where we tend to see more deadly car accidents involving teen drivers. Deadly crashes involving teens tend to spike about 15 percent in the summer, according to a news report on CBS Philadelphia. Doctors say teenagers are more likely to drive while distracted and put themselves and others in dangerous situations. Dashcam videos can also show what happens when teens drive while distracted. One video shows a teenager looking at her cell phone for six seconds before going off the road.
Risky Behavior While Driving
One study showed that 21 percent of teen drivers, who were involved in fatal accidents, were distracted by their cell phones. A recent report from AAA also shows that 16- and 17-year-old drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly car accident. Safety experts say teens are also more likely to show risky behavior while driving such as speeding, driving distracted and not wearing their seatbelts.
Eleven teens die each day in the United States as a result of texting while driving. According to an AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers say they know and understand the dangers of texting and driving. However, 35 percent admit to doing it anyway. Experts also say that texting is the most alarming distraction because it takes the driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road and attention away from the task of driving. At 55 mph, that’s pretty much like driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Driving Safety Tips for Teens
Here are a few things parents should bring attention to when they teach their teens to drive:
- Turn off that phone and put it in the glove box. Putting them out of sight limits the temptation of wanting to text and drive, post on social media or worse, take selfies while driving.
- Respect the speed limit. Excessive speed is a factor in significant number of crashes, especially among teens who are less experienced. They should also be taught to adjust their speed according to traffic, roadways and weather conditions.
- Since teens are also more likely than adults to drink and drive, the severe consequences of drinking and driving need to be emphasized. When they drink and drive, not only do they put themselves in danger, but also their passengers and others on the roadway.
- Buckling up should become second nature. Teens tend to have a lower rate of seatbelt use than other age groups and the consequences of such behavior can be disastrous.
- Teens should be taught to follow the rules of the road. This includes yielding the right of way to pedestrians, not attempting to outrun yellow lights, coming to a full stop at a stop sign, etc.
- Drivers should always keep their hands on the wheel. This ensures that they have better control of the vehicle. Since the introduction of airbags, the “9 and 3 position” has become the standard rule of thumb for hand placement. Another benefit of keeping hands on the wheel is that it helps discourage distracted driving.
- Maintain a safe following distance at all times. This helps drivers come to a stop in a timely manner in the event of an emergency situation. Keeping a safe distance helps prevent car accidents, period.
- Young drivers should also be taught not to make sudden lane changes or weave between traffic lanes. Parents should stress the dangers of driving behaviors such as cutting off other drivers and dangerous passing.
- Finally, parents should be good role models for young drivers by following what they preach.
Injured in a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, our experienced car accident lawyers in Pennsylvania can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Contact us at 610-660-7780 for a free and comprehensive consultation.