Talking To Your Teen Makes a Big Difference In Preventing Driving Accidents

Dec 2012

Most parents dread the day when their teenager gets his or her license, and with good reason. The simple fact is that young adults who are just starting to drive face a serious auto accident risk and a very real chance of becoming involved in a crash and hurting themselves or others. Sadly, the risk of a teen auto accident is exacerbated by teenage drivers who make unsafe decisions and take unnecessary risk.

Fortunately, as parents, there are things you can do in order to help keep your kids safe. Our Buffalo accident attorneys urge you to take the time to talk to your children about some of the dangerous driving behaviors that many teens engage in. We also urge you to take an active interest in supervising your child’s driving and in regularly going over safe driving rules and practices.

Does Talking To Your Kids About Driver Safety Matter?

When your teenager has started driving, you may wonder whether talking about safe driving and spending time going over the driving rules is really going to make a difference. After all, your teen is able to go out on his or her own and you can’t be there to supervise every minute. Fortunately, statistics show that talking to your teenager about safe driving really can make a lasting impact and can help your teenager to be safer.

According to a recent article in US News and World Report, for example, data provided by State Farm has revealed that kids whose parents are actively involved in monitoring their driving behavior are much safer than those kids whose parents do not take such an active role. In fact, kids who reported active parental involvement and discussions with their parents about safe driving were around half as likely to become involved in an auto accident.

Why it is Important to Talk About Safe Driving With Your Teen

Reducing the risk of auto accidents by half is very significant, especially in light of the frightening statistics on teen car wrecks. According to the New York State Department of Health, for example:

  • Car crashes are the primary reason for teens ages 15 to 19 to be hospitalized.
  • Car wrecks are the number one cause of death for teens ages 15-19.
  • Each year, around 73 teens are killed in fatal wrecks.
  • More than 40 teenagers ages 15 to 19 are treated in hospitals for car accident injuries each day.
  • Many teen drivers do not wear seat belts, although the risk of death in an auto accident is reduced by between 50 and 83 percent with the use of proper restraints.
  • The majority of crashes among those ages 16 and 17 are caused by speeding or going too fast for conditions; driver distractions including texting; tailgating; and lack of driver experience. Texting, especially, is a major problem among teenagers, as US News and World Report indicates that studies show 43 percent of teenagers text when driving.  The car accident risk is 23 times greater when texting than for those drivers actually paying attention to the road.

Because so many teen crashes are caused by behavior that teenagers engage in, parents talking to teens can make a big difference. So, this holiday season, take a few minutes to discuss driving rules with your kids. You might save not only their lives but also the lives of others who travel on the roads with them.

If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.

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