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Safety Tips for Teenage Drivers

For parents, one day their child turns 15-years-old and then – it begins. “Can you teach me how to drive? Can I take driver’s education? Can you buy me (enter ridiculously expensive car here) for my 16th birthday?” and so on. For most parents, tenth and eleventh grades take on a whole new meaning because now, the law says their kids can drive if they follow the proper procedures.

If you’re like most people, you’re not exactly comfortable with your teenager driving. Sure, they may be “safe” drivers, but that doesn’t stop a drunk driver from slamming into them. That doesn’t stop a distracted driver from texting and crashing into your teen on their way to school. Despite all of the usual parental concerns, we have to let go of the reins or in this case, the steering wheel eventually. So, let’s take a look at the facts:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In 2015, 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16-19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2014.” According to the CDC, between 16 and 19 teens died every day in a motor vehicle crash in 2015.

The CDC goes on to say that car accidents are the #1 cause of death for teenagers in the United states and fortunately, “teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable.” As a parent, there are things that you can do to help your teens stay safe, starting with these methods:

  • Teach your teen to NEVER text and drive. If they have to send or read a text, teach them to pull over first.
  • Teach your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving and make sure they never get into a car with another teenager who has been drinking.
  • Teach them about prescription drugs and how certain medications, such as depressants, muscle relaxants, and opioid painkillers can affect driving ability.
  • Teach your son or daughter to always buckle up no matter what, even if it’s “not cool.”
  • Have your child take driver’s education and have them practice driving with you in the vehicle a lot.
  • Make sure your child understands how speeding can make them lose control of a vehicle.
  • Teach your child not to drive while fatigued as this can lead to accidents.

According to the CDC, the leading causes of teenage driver accidents include: driver inexperience, driving with other teens, driving at night, distracted driving, drowsy driving, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Make sure you son or daughter is aware of these.

Even though we’re in New York, this is some valid data from the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles on teenage driver crash statistics. It’s worth checking out.

Was your teenage driver in a crash? If so, contact DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata to meet with a Montgomery County personal injury attorney!