Teaching Your Teen About the Dangers of Distracted DrivingApril 24, 2018
Getting a driver’s license is a major milestone for most teens. A license and a set of car keys opens a whole new world of freedom and independence that they did not have before. For parents, however, their feelings are often mixed. While they may be happy about not having to drive their child everywhere they need to be, they also face a new fear that their child could be seriously or even fatally injured in a car accident anytime they get behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, this is not far from the truth. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, over 3,500 teens lost their lives in car wrecks in 2016.
In addition to learning the basic skills of driving, including how to operate a motor vehicle and obeying the rules of the road, it is crucial for all new drivers to understand the importance of safety. For example, drunk driving and distracted driving are particularly problematic among teen drivers. In fact, newly licensed teen drivers are three times more likely to be fatally injured in a car accident, compared to older, more experienced drivers. Sixty percent of these fatal crashes are caused by distracted driving, and approximately 25 percent are caused by drunk driving.
What Can Parents Do to Protect Teen Drivers?
There are a number of proactive steps you can take to communicate the importance of safety, and ensure that your child makes smart choices every time he or she gets behind the wheel. The following are some simple steps you can take:
- Even before your child gets his or her driver’s license, have regular conversations about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, or using their phone to talk or text while they are driving.
- Nearly 65 percent of all car accidents are caused by some type of cell phone usage, including texting, talking, or checking social media. One text or phone call is never worth becoming seriously injured or losing a life.
- Create a parent-teen agreement that establishes a set of clear rules about unsafe, and potentially life-threatening driving behaviors. Make sure that all licensed drivers in the family read and sign the agreement.
- Set a good example by never engaging in the behaviors that you do not want your child to do while he or she is driving. Do not answer the phone while you are driving. Do not look at your phone if you get a text alert. Never get behind the wheel if you have had any alcoholic beverages.
Always wear your seatbelt, even if you are in the back seat, and be sure to obey the posted speed limits. Your children pay attention to what you do, and you should lead by example.
Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Car Accident Victims
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a newly licensed teen driver, the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will provide the skilled and compassionate legal representation to which you are entitled. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the case and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.