Teen Driver Safety Best Practices

One of the terrifying things for a parent is the day your child is finally old enough to drive a car. Time flies, doesn’t it? Well, one of the most important things that you and your child should talk about before they sit behind the wheel is teen driver safety. After all, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen injuries and deaths. Nearly sixteen drivers suffer fatal car crashes every single day in the United States. To help parents speak to their kids about driver safety, Chain | Cohn | Stiles joined up with local law enforcement organizations for Teen Driver Safety Week, bringing awareness of the dangers teen drivers to face to help keep them safe behind the wheel of a car.

“Every parents’ highest priority is the safety of their children, and since the single greatest risk to each teenager is on the roadway, we should all be devoted to reducing the dangers. At driving age, our children need us more than ever. Make sure your kids know the best practices for staying safe.” – David Cohn of Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

The Six Most Prevalent Dangers Faced By Teen Drivers

Drugs and Alcohol:

The unfortunate reality is that while all teens are too young to buy, possess, or consume alcohol legally, 15% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents had alcohol in their bloodstream. Additionally, like marijuana, other drugs affect a driver’s ability to react to their surroundings adequately. Remind your children that driving under the influence of anything can, and often does, have deadly consequences.

Distracted Driving:

Distractions while driving, like using a cell phone and adjusting the radio, are a major causal factor in fatal teen car accidents. Let your kids know that distracted driving is dangerous and should always be avoided.

Seat Belt Use:

An unfortunate number of fatal accidents involving teen drivers involve a lack of seat belt usage. Make sure your kids know the dangers of driving without a seat belt. Remember, seat belts save lives.

Speeding:

Speeding was a factor in about one-third of all fatal teen driver crashes. Faster speeds rob inexperienced teen drivers of the extra reaction time they may need to avoid a crash. Emphasize that they must obey posted speed limits.

Passenger Distractions:

Passengers can be extremely distracting, especially for teen drivers. Moreover, the risk of a teen driver engaging in reckless behavior increases the number of additional passengers in the car. That’s why many states have early drivers’ license restrictions, prohibiting passengers in the car with new drivers.

Driving Drowsy:

Teens are busier than ever: studying, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and spending time with friends are among the long list of things they do to fill their time. However, with all of these activities, teens tend to compromise something significant — sleep. This is a dangerous habit that can lead to drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel. People are most likely to feel drowsy between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m., which is generally when teens are driving home from school. Explain the dangers of driving drowsy before your teen driver takes the wheel.

Teen Driver Safety And The Chain | Cohn | Stiles Guided Partners In Safety Scholarship

Knowing the dangers that face teen drivers, Chain | Cohn | Stiles, along with several law enforcement agencies and activism groups, instated the “Guided Partners in Safety (GPS) Scholarship,” which awards teen drivers with defensive driver’s education course scholarships.

“Our goal was to help those in need, and reinforce the importance of talking to teen drivers about the responsibilities, rules, and consequences tha tcome with getting behind the steering wheel. We hope this program will help at least a little in lowering the statistics locally.” – Matt Clark, senior partner and personal injury attorney at Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

What Should Your Teen Do If They’re Involved In A Car Accident?

Even when drivers do everything right, accidents sometimes happen. That’s why they’re called “accidents,” after all. So, the attorneys here at Chain | Cohn | Stiles compiled a list of what your child should do if they find themselves in a car accident situation. That list is as follows:

  • Obtain the name, address, insurance information, vehicle identification number (VIN), and driver’s license number of all persons involved in the accident, as well as the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all witnesses.
  • Ensure that a report is filed with the police, sheriff, or highway patrol, but DO NOT talk to anyone else (especially insurance adjusters) about the accident or sign anything without first consulting an attorney.
  • Seek medical attention immediately and explain to your physician or surgeon all of the symptoms and complaints you have felt since the accident.

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else or injured on the job, no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000 or fill out a free consultation form at chainlaw.com.