This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week. The leading cause of death for teens in Texas and Oklahoma is car crashes, according to Triple A. In the United States, over the past 5 years, there were more than 14,000 deadly crashes, many of which were caused by distracted driving by the use of phones. In addition, over 4,000 of those deaths were caused by speeding.
A split second of driver inattention could change a life forever. Experts conclude that the three most common factors for teens involved in wrecks is texting, speeding and failing to be aware of whats around them (driver inattention).
We, at Altman Legal Group, think it is important for parents to be positive when talking to their teens about safe driving habits. We believe that encouraging them to do positive acts for their safety is better than “scaring the daylights out of em”. Some examples of keeping the message positive to your teen are:
High risk behavior = Driving distracted by talking or texting on cell phone while driving.
Recommended Safe behavior = Driving focused by keeping cell phone out of sight.
Scare Message many parents give – Cell phone use while driving is deadly, especially for teens. “you could die or kill someone”
Share Message – Drive focused, without distraction of talking or texting on your cell phone. The benefits:
+ Paying better attention to driving
+ Being less likely to get into an accident
+ Following the law
High risk behavior = Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
Recommended Safe behavior = Moderating speed for driving conditions (at night, high traffic, rain/snow)
Scare Message – Speed kills. “you get a ticket and you lose your car” or ” you could die or kill someone”
Share Message – Drive like you care: Follow the speed limit and moderate speed for driving conditions.
High-risk behavior = Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or when overtired.
Recommended Safe behavior = Driving alert and well-rested.
Scare Message — Every 22 minutes someone dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident, and teens are especially vulnerable.
Share message – Drive alert — substance-free and well-rested.
High-risk behavior = Driving or riding as a passenger without a seat belt.
Recommended Safe behavior = Buckling up as a driver or passenger, for every ride.
Scare Message – In 2011, 58 percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt and 50 percent of passengers killed in crashes involving a teen driver were not buckled up.
Share Message – Buckle up for every ride.