Parents and their teenaged drivers are strongly encouraged to participate in National Teen Driver Safety Week, an important week designated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to bring awareness of safe driving habits to teen drivers. The NHTSA has designated the third week of October for this valuable cause, making October 18—24 this year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week.
Each year, more than 2,500 teens perish in car accidents, and approximately 130,000 teens are injured. In Georgia alone, over 150 teenagers lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident in 2013.
To help teenagers learn life-saving driver safety tips, parents should share the “Five to Drive” rules with their teen. A nationwide survey suggests both parents and teens can easily see eye-to-eye on the need for safe driving rules, and sharing the “Five to Drive” can help parents foster a lasting bond with their teen, as well as potentially help save their life.
The “Five to Drive” rules are as follows:
- Wear A Seatbelt Every Time. Not just for long trips, seatbelts should be worn at all times when inside a moving vehicle. Approximately 55% of teens who died in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Insist your teen put on their seatbelt every time they get in a vehicle, even if they’re the passenger. Seatbelts save lives, including your teenager’s.
- Never Use a Cellphone While Driving. Cellphone use while driving causes three deadly types of driver distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. This means your teen is more likely to take their eyes off the road (visual distraction), their hands off the wheel (manual distraction), and their mind off of driving (cognitive distraction) when they text and drive, which greatly increases their chance of being in a fatal car accident.
- Never Speed. It’s not uncommon for inexperienced teens to drive too fast for road or weather conditions, and it’s even more common for teens to drive fast in order to impress friends or “show off” their vehicle’s performance. Make sure your teenager knows the risks involved with speeding, and encourage them to drive the speed limit at all times.
- Limit Passengers to One. When more than one passenger is in a vehicle with a teen driver, the teenager is more likely to engage in distracted driving or risky driving behaviors. To ensure your teen’s safety, don’t allow them to drive with more than one passenger any time they are behind the wheel, no matter how close to home they may be driving.
- Don’t Drink and Drive. The legal drinking age may be 21, but that doesn’t stop teenagers from drinking. In fact, one-third of teen drivers killed in car accidents were intoxicated at the time of the crash. Please insist your teen driver never drinks and drives, and insist they follow this rule all the way through adulthood as well.
If your teen has been injured in an auto accident, turn to the experienced car accident lawyers at Eichholz Law Firm today.