This week is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Teen Driver Safety Week, a yearly campaign aimed at preventing teen driver traffic accidents and saving lives.
Urging parents to take an active role in this effort, the 5 to Drive campaign is calling on “parents and guardians of teen drivers to discuss with their teens one traffic safety topic each day. Those topics, also the most risky behaviors among teens, include alcohol, texting, failure to wear seat belts, speeding, and riding with extra teen passengers,” as the NHTSA explains.
More on 5 to Drive: 5 Driving Issues to Discuss with Teens
For parents who want to participate in National Teen Driver Safety Week – or who just want to make sure their teen drivers are making safe and responsible choices behind the wheel, here are the 5 main driving issues to talk to teenage motorists about:
- Speeding: Speeding kills at least 1,100 teen drivers each year in the U.S.Takeaway for teen drivers: Follow the speed limit, and drive slower than the posted speed limit in poor conditions (like heavy rain or fog).
- Impaired driving: Drunk driving alone killed at least 758 teenage drivers in 2013 (the most recent available statistics). More than half of the drivers killed had blood alcohol levels of at least 0.08.Takeaway for teen drivers: Never drive after drinking alcohol and/or doing drugs even if you only feel “buzzed.” Get a ride, call a sober friend or a discrete relative, etc. Just don’t drive.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a factor in about 11 percent of the deadly crashes caused by teen motorists. In 2013, more than 315 people were killed by distracted teen drivers. By far, the leading distraction for teen drivers is cellphones and texting.Takeaway for teen drivers: Let the call or text wait. When driving, focus on what you are doing and avoid every distraction. It only takes a few seconds for a deadly accident to happen.
- Other teenage passengers: Other teens as passengers can double or even triple the risk of dangerous driving behaviors, like distracted driving, speeding, etc.Takeaway for teen drivers: Be careful about who you drive around. Safety behind the wheel always comes first.
- Wearing seatbelts: Buckling up is a must, as more than about 55 percent of the teenagers killed in traffic accidents in 2013 were not buckled up when the collision occurred. Had they been wearing their seatbelt, their risk of suffering a catastrophic or life-threatening injury could have been reduced by as much as 45 percent.Takeaway for teen drivers: Always buckle up, regardless of whether you are the passenger or the driver.
Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact a Columbia SC personal injury attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. to find out more about your options for financial recovery.
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