When an adolescent becomes a teenager they look forward to the fact that they are that much closer to driving. Unfortunately, it still means they are 3-4 years away from driving depending on which state they live in. Knowing that teens are at the highest risk for North Carolina car accidents parents are in no rush for their young teens to start driving.
The leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds are motor vehicle crashes as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2008, drivers between the ages of 15-20 recorded a total of 2,739 deaths and another 228,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Vehicle crashes involving young drivers in North Carolina of this same age group reported a total of 250 fatalities in 2008 which ranked fourth among all states behind, California, Florida, and Texas. There were 175 recorded fatalities when either the driver or the passengers accompanying a young driver were in this 15-20 year old age group.
In preparation for young teens about to begin to drive, Yahoo News put out an article earlier this month that Safe Kids USA is teaming up with General Motors Foundation to promote a new program, Countdown2Drive.
The program features teaching safety methods to kids ages 13-14 so that they convert from passenger to driver more safely when the time comes to get their drivers license. Parents and young teens will be educated and given tools to use to gain knowledge on safe driving behaviors as well as safety as a passenger in the vehicle.
One key aspect of the program that should be utilized features the parent-teen Passenger Agreement. Parents and their 13-14 year old teen can discuss and write down family rules for driving and riding that should be followed as well as the penalties or payoffs if good behavior is failed or achieved. Kids in this age group are eager to learn and often find the challenge of exerting good behavior rewarding in itself. Offering incentive for good behavior can only enhance the benefits of the program in an effort to make young drivers safer on the roadways.
Like everything else, parents need to set a good example by exerting good driving behaviors. Failure to do so teaches young drivers-to-be that behaviors like distracted driving and speeding are permissible which could potentially harm your child once they are of legal age to drive.
If you have been in a serious North Carolina car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Lee & Smith for legal advice. For a free consultation call 800-887-1965 to get started today.