While teens make up only a small fraction of the drivers in America, they account for a fairly large percentage of car accidents per year. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that, of the 5.25 million accidents occur each year, nearly one million involve teen drivers. Car accidents also happen to be the leading cause of teen death. As such, parents must do all they can to keep their teens safe behind the wheel. The following tips can help.
Limit the Number of Passengers
Distracted driving comes in many forms, including social interaction. For young and less experienced drivers, this extra distraction can mean the difference between an accident and arriving at their destination safely. In fact, data from the American Automobile Association suggests that a teen’s risk of accident increases by 44 percent when there is just one other teen in the vehicle. It doubles when there is a second passenger, and quadruples when there is a third. Because of this, the safest bet might be to restrict your teen from having passengers in the vehicle, at least until they gain more experience.
Require That Phones Be Off While Driving
Americans have become quite attached to their phones, but teens are, by far, the most interactive. Further, they often lack the ability to ignore the ding that indicates they have received a text, phone call, or status update. For this reason, parents may want to require that their teens shut their phones off completely when they are driving.
Practice and Encourage Good Car Maintenance
Although maintenance issues only account for a fraction of all accidents, it is important that your teen learn the importance of good maintenance. Regular oil changes, new tires when needed, brake changes, and other critical vehicle repairs should all be logged and tracked. Further, parents should ensure their teen knows how to change a tire, should they ever be in a situation where a tire change is necessary.
Model the Behavior You Want to See
It goes without saying that kids tend to model the behavior they see – so be the example for your teen. Turn off your own cell phone while driving, avoid speeding and other reckless behavior, and always wear your seatbelt. You may even want to consider taking a defensive driving course with your teen. It could help you both learn some valuable information about staying safe while on the road.
Pursuing Compensation for a Teen’s Accident
Sadly, even though responsible parents and responsible teens may do the right thing, they may be the victim of the act of an irresponsible and negligent teen. Often, those situations can be further complicated if the negligent teen is a friend or relative. There are ways to seek appropriate compensation from insurance companies, by either involving or not involving the negligent teen, depending on the circumstances. Good lawyers know how to properly handle these cases.
Whatever the situation, it is important that you obtain the quality representation that you and your teen deserve. Contact the Appleton auto accident lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. for assistance with your teen’s accident claim. Call 920-739-7366 and schedule your personalized consultation today.