Motor vehicle collisions remain the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) warns that there were almost 4,000 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were involved in deadly motor vehicle accidents in 2013 alone. With stronger economic conditions leading to more teens driving more miles, the number of teens killed in collisions may climb even higher.
In an effort to reduce the dangers of teen driving, National Teen Driver Safety Week is held every year in October. During this most recent Safety Week, the Governors Highway Safety Association published a comprehensive report on how states can partner with parents and other adults to help reduce crash risks. Sound public policies and strong adult involvement are key to keeping teens safe; so parents and policymakers should be aware of the GHSA recommendations, as well as other safety tips.
If a teenager causes a collision to occur, passengers in the car with the teen may be able to pursue a case for compensation. Other motorists who are injured or killed by teen drivers may also be entitled to damages. Naples auto accident attorneys routinely represent victims injured by young drivers who have made unsafe choices.
How to Prevent Teen Car Crashes
The Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that every adult in a teen’s life should play a role in encouraging the young driver to make safe driving decisions. Teens between the ages of 15 and 17 spend five hours per day on average in school and even longer if they participate in activities like sports. Coaches, teachers and employers can all join with parents in helping to encourage teenagers to think carefully about how to be a safer and more effective driver.
There are different ways these adults can provide assistance to teen drivers, with new programs being developed every day. For example, a GDL Game Plan has been developed in some states to help athletic directors and coaches keep teens informed about graduated licensing rules, while the 4-H youth organization has released a Motion Commission kit that middle school and high-school teachers can use to help students understand distracted driving dangers. When adults in every realm of a teen’s life provide help understanding driving risks, this can make a bigger impact than if parents are acting alone.
Auto Blog also reports that many different people need to come together in an effort to help prevent teen collisions. The article, It Takes a Village to Raise a Teen Driver, suggests that influencers (like coaches and teachers) also need to help encourage teens to buckle up. The fact that teens have the lowest seatbelt usage of any demographic group makes accidents even more dangerous when young people are involved in crashes.
Hopefully, teens will listen to the adults in their lives who advise them on avoiding crash risks and with any luck, teens and parents will follow effective laws like the graduated licensing laws that slowly introduce teens to driving responsibilities. If teens do make unsafe choices behind the wheel, auto accident attorneys should be consulted by victims for assistance with pursuing car accident claims. If you need help, contact Ryan Kuhl at The Kelleher Firm today.