Even for an experienced driver, driving on the roads and highways of Massachusetts and Rhode Island can be a challenge, so our new teen drivers need all of the guidance they can get. As parents and guardians, we need to help our young drivers make better decisions behind the wheel to help them to avoid car accidents and steer them away from distracted driving and other dangerous habits. When your teenager becomes a teen driver, how can you be sure that they’ll put the device down while behind the wheel? The first line line of defense is sitting down and educating them about the dangers of distracted driving.
Some Stats and Facts On Teens and Car Accidents
According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one out of every five car accidents causing an injury is caused by a distracted driver, and 16% of all fatal automobile accidents also involved distracted driving. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are no exception. New Bedford, Fall River, Providence and other high-traffic cities require our full attention behind the wheel. Operating a motor vehicle can be dangerous and even deadly. Take a look at some more facts from the NHTSA and the National Safety Council:
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens ages 14 through 18.
- A teen’s crash risk is three times that of more experienced drivers.
- Being in a car with three or more teen passengers quadruples a teen driver’s crash risk.
- More than half of teens killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Teen Drivers and Distracted Driving
With high traffic regions throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the need for focus multiplies as does the importance to avoid habits like distracted driving. What can we do as parents and guardians to impress upon our teenage drivers that the privilege of driving comes with a greater responsibility than perhaps anything they’ve ever had control of?
- Smart Phones/Devices: Today’s teenagers have lived their entire life with the presence of smartphones, tablets and other devices. They can hardly put the phone down for a moment because they’re excited to respond or are worried that they might miss something. Driving while texting, messaging, or even talking can be a deadly distraction.
- Passengers/Friends: For a new driver, being in a chaotic environment where everyone is talking, listening to music, etc. can take their attention away from the road and lead to tragic results. Tell your teen driver that it’s okay to ask their friends to respect their duty as the driver.
- Drowsy Driving: Many teens keep a poor sleep schedule. Whether it’s staying up late catching up on studying or hanging out with friends, they often set the alarm to rush out with just enough time to get to school. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as any other impaired driving. Help them to keep a healthier schedule and set enough time aside to properly wake up before grabbing the keys.
- Driving Under the Influence: Sadly, our children are surrounded by temptations and pressures from those around them to drink alcohol and consume cannabis/THC products. This is a problem in general, but when you pair it with driving a motor vehicle is becomes a MAJOR problem which could result in injury or even death.
Teach Your Teenage Driver These Good Habits
Avoid Speeding: Speeding continues to grow as a factor in fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A lot of emphasis is rightly placed on the risks of distracted driving or driving under the influence, but all too often in car crashes, speed is a factor.
Wear Your Seat belt: It is important to set a good example and always wear our seat belts. Seat belts are a simple way to protect yourself and your passengers in a car crash, so let teens know that buckling up is mandatory and smart. Click it or ticket, seat belts do save lives!
- Drive Defensively: Teach your teen driver to be vigilant while behind the wheel. Assume that every other driver is a distracted driver and be ready to react to them to avoid a car accident
D+Z: Experienced Car Accident Attorneys In Massachusetts & Rhode Island
If you or a family member have been left with injuries after a car accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver, please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney. Dussault & Zatir P.C. has lawyers on call at +1-800-542-4LAW to answer your personal injury questions. With offices in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton, Massachusetts, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, if you’ve been injured, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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