As San Diego injury lawyers, we want to remind our readers about Teen Driver
Safety Week. The national campaign aims to deter high-risk teen behaviors,
such as speeding and distracted driving, that can often lead to tragic
motor vehicle accidents.
As we have previously highlighted on this San Diego Injury Blog, motor
vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year olds
in the United States. In 2014, there were 2,679 teen passenger vehicle
drivers involved in fatal crashes, and another 123,000 teens were injured.
One of the
key messages of Teen Driver Safety Week is that parents play an important role in helping their teen drivers take
smart steps to stay safe on the road. Studies have shown that teens of
parents who establish clear rules for driving typically engage in less
risky driving behaviors and are involved in fewer crashes. Research also
confirms that teens frequently mimic the driving behaviors of their parents,
so it is imperative for them slow down, follow the rules of the road,
and minimize distractions while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “5
to Drive” campaign provides parents with several useful tips regarding
how to talk about safe driving behaviors with their teens. It also addresses
the five most dangerous and deadly driving behaviors for teen drivers:
alcohol, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and extra
passengers. Below is a brief summary:
No Drinking and Driving. In 2014, one out of five teen passenger vehicle drivers (15 to 19 years
old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. Remind your teen that
driving under the influence of any impairing substance, including illicit
or prescription drugs, could have deadly consequences.
Buckle Up. Every Trip, Every Time, Everyone—Front Seat and Back. In 2014, there were 763 passengers killed in vehicles driven by teen (15-19
years old) drivers, and 59 percent of those passengers who died were NOT
buckled up at the time of the fatal crash. When the teen driver was also
unrestrained, the percentage of those passengers who were not restrained
jumped to almost 86 percent. Remind your teen that it’s important
for everyone to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what.
Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel. All the Time. In 2014, among teen passenger vehicle drivers (15-19 years old) involved
in fatal crashes, 10 percent were reported as distracted at the time of
the crash. Remind your teen about the dangers of texting, dialing, or
using mobile apps while driving. But distracted driving isn’t limited
to cell phone use. Other passengers, audio and climate controls in the
vehicle, and eating or drinking while driving, are all examples of dangerous
distractions for teen drivers.
Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2014, almost one-third (30%) of teen passenger vehicle drivers involved
in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash. Remind your teen
to drive within the speed limit.
No More Than One Passenger at a Time. According to data analyzed by NHTSA, teen drivers were two-and-a-half
times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors
when driving with one teenage peer compared to when driving alone. The
likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behaviors triples when traveling
with multiple passengers.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a San Diego motor
vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. With more than 30 years of experience, we have the knowledge
and experience to obtain the compensation that injury victims deserve.