Talk To Your Teen About Safe Driving this Holiday Season

During this holiday season, parents may get a precious gift: time with their children who are off from school or who come home from college for the holidays. While celebrating the festive season with your kids, parents should consider taking the time to go over some basic driver safety tips.

Teen drivers are at great risk for accidents, and in fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that car accident fatalities are the number one cause of deaths for teens between the ages of 16 and 19. Our Greensboro car accident lawyers urge parents to discuss safe driving over the holiday season to help protect their kids from an injury accident. 1210044_teens.jpg

Talking to Teens About Safe Driving
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) provides some key talking points for parents to discuss with their teenagers about safe driving. The key safety issues to discuss include:

  • Not texting and driving.
  • Wearing a seat-belt at all times.
  • Not drinking and driving.
  • Driving within the speed limit and driving at a speed that is safe and reasonable in light of the current road conditions.
  • Refraining from distracted driving.
  • Exercising caution in intersections
  • Limiting the number of passengers in the car, especially when learning to drive
  • Being alert for deer and other animals
  • Never driving when fatigued
  • Looking over your shoulder and remembering blind spots
  • Using turn signals
  • Leaving a safe following distance
  • Being a courteous driver
  • Moving over for emergency vehicles and law enforcement

Parents should remind their kids about each of these key safety tips this holiday season and, in fact, parents with younger children who are still at home should make strict house rules.

The Dangers Teens Face

Teenagers face many dangers, but two of the most serious include distracted and drowsy driving. Recent statistics show that teens may be at the greatest risk of both accidents due to distractions and accidents due to intoxication.

  • Distraction.gov statistics reveal that 11 percent of drivers aged 20 and under who were in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the wreck. Distraction.gov also provides further evidence of the dangers of distracted driving among the younger population: a full 40 percent of American teens responding to a Pew Survey said they had been in a car with a driver who was using his cell phone in a manner that created a danger.
  • An AAA study reported by Auto Blog indicated that younger drivers are more likely to drive when they are tired and less likely than older drivers to pull over and rest when feeling fatigued. In fact, one out of seven drivers ages 16-24 admitted nodding off while driving, as compared with one in ten of all drivers.

Teens and young drivers who engage in these risky behaviors may hurt not just themselves but also others who have to share the roads. If a passenger or other motorist is injured by a teen driver, the teen can be held legally responsible for the consequences.

If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-887-1965 to speak with an accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:
Drunk Driving Accident Risks Highest in Nov. & Dec., North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, Nov 2, 2012

MADD and Asheville Attorneys Working to Protect Victims’ Rights, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 25, 2012

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