Teenagers in the United States are at greater risk of dying in motor vehicle collisions than by any other means. Some of the things that teenagers regularly do behind the wheel can significantly increase the risk that a motor vehicle collision will occur. For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a teen with one other passenger in the car has 2.5 times the risk of engaging in risky behavior that can result in a collision. When a teen has multiple friends in the car, he or she is three times as likely to take risks that could lead to a crash.
A personal injury lawyer understands research has backed the notion that behavior of teens behind the wheel is influenced by their parents. If parents set some simple ground rules and talk to their kids about driver safety, hopefully young people will make better choices behind the wheel and lives can be saved.
How Parents Impact Teen Driving
According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are multiple ways in which the decisions that parents make shape the behavior of teen drivers. For example, parents have control over:
- When their kids have permission to get a driver’s license.
- Their children’s access to a vehicle.
- Family rules for driving and the consequences for breaking the rules.
- The vehicle that a teen drives.
- Teaching their kids how to drive and supervising teen driving behavior.
- Acting as a role model for safe driving behavior that teens can follow.
Many parents take their responsibility seriously and focus on setting limits such as when a teen can take a vehicle out and what time a young person has to be home. Unfortunately, parents often do not know when their kids are engaging in high-risk dangerous behavior behind the wheel. Furthermore, parents may not provide enough information to their teens about some of the most dangerous behaviors, and many parents may not even be aware that things like having multiple passengers in the car can be so hazardous.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has highlighted the role parents play in reducing teen crashes. During teen driver safety week, which occurred toward the end of October, the NHTSA urged parents to talk to their sons and daughters about a different driving safety issue each day. Although the special driver safety week is over, parents can still take the time to discuss the five topics that the NHTSA raised including:
- The use of cell phones and other electronic devices that create a distraction behind the wheel.
- The dangers of driving with teenage passengers in the car.
- The importance of driving at a safe speed, which is sometimes below the speed limit depending on current road conditions.
- The importance of always wearing a seat belt when in the car as a driver or a passenger.
- The importance of never getting behind the wheel drunk or getting into a car with someone who has been drinking.
In 2012, 4,283 teen drivers aged 15 to 20 were involved in fatal car accidents, and in 44 percent of those collisions, it was the teen who was killed. If even some of these fatalities could be prevented, it is worth it for parents to take the time to talk to their kids about driving safely.
Our personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. Contact Flager & Associates at 215-953-5200 or visit http://www.flagerlaw.com today to schedule a consultation. Serving Philadelphia, East Greenwich, Conshohocken and surrounding areas.