Car accidents are the biggest cause of death in teens. Each year more than 5,000 teens die in motor vehicle accidents. About 400,000 drivers of the age group 16-20 will be seriously injured in the United States. Risk of car accidents is about four times greater for this age group than any other.
With that said, how do we keep our teens safe? Parents are a key influence in their children’s driving safety. Be involved in everything driving from the training to the evaluation. If your teen does something incorrectly, correct them and explain the dangers of what they just did. We need to teach them the risks of driving so they understand the dangers, but we also need to teach them how to be smart and alert on the road. Kids and teens observe a lot of what you do. As a parent, it’s your job to lead by example and be a good driver for them.
Tips for new drivers:
- Cell phones are one of the leading distractions causing accidents. Turn phones off or on silent while your vehicle is in motion. Do not text while operating a vehicle.
- Always wear a seat belt and require your passengers to wear theirs as well. Never carry more people in your car than you have seat belts for.
- Obey the speed limit. Going too fast gives you less time to react.
- Never run red lights. When the light turns green, make sure the intersection is clear before going.
- Always use turn signals to indicate your intention which gives other drivers enough warning before turning or changing lanes.
- Keep your windshield clean. The glare on a dirty windshield at sunrise and sunset can temporarily blind you.
- Make sure your car has gas in it – don’t drive with an empty tank. You never know where you might get stranded.
- Don’t drink or use drugs and drive, or allow someone else who has been drinking or using drugs to drive you anywhere.
If your teen is in an accident, you may need to talk with an accident attorney in Washington. Call The Advocates 24 hours a day to discuss your case at no charge.