In today’s world, there are all kinds of things for parents of teenagers to worry about. Drinking. Drugs. Sexting. Sexually transmitted diseases. Shoplifting.
Even in the best case scenario, you might be worried that your teen’s grades won’t be good enough to get them into the right school. Or that they’re an overachiever who is pushing themselves too hard.
There are so many things to fret over that you have to prioritize, so today we’re going to make a suggestion to you: cars.
Yes, that’s right, cars. If you have a teen, they should be your biggest fear for one simple reason: more teens die in car crashes than in any other way. In real numbers, motor vehicle accidents killed over 2,500 teens in 2015 and injured more than 220,000 in 2014.
This despite the fact that teens actually drive a lot less than all other eligible groups of people besides the very oldest drivers. Put a different way, your teen is much more likely to get hurt or killed than other drivers every time they get behind the wheel.
Don’t panic, though. There’s actually good news buried in those numbers, because there are things that you can do to make your teen less likely to become one of them.
How You Can Keep Your Teen from Becoming an Auto Accident Statistic
Do you know why most serious car crashes involving teens occur? “Critical errors.” That’s when the driver makes a mistake that leads to a crash.
These errors are the culprit in a whopping 75% of teen auto accidents. Moreover, just three critical errors account for almost half of these crashes.
In other words, if you can teach your teen about the importance of not engaging in these three types of behavior, you will drastically reduce their chances of being hurt or killed in a crash.
What are they?
Speeding. No surprise here, right? If you’re going too fast while driving, it is much harder to control the vehicle and avoid other drivers and dangers. On top of this, getting to an accident at high speed makes a serious injury far more likely.
Teach your teen the importance of sticking close to the speed limit and matching the general flow of the traffic around them. It can be frustrating to go slow when it seems so easy to just put your foot down and blast through others on the road, but the risks far outweigh the rewards.
Being distracted. Does your teen drive friends around? Do they take their phone with them? Go through drive-thrus? Play music? Apply makeup? Brush their hair?
There are countless ways to get distracted while driving, and teens are more susceptible than most to these dangerous behaviors. Even something as seemingly innocuous as having a sip of water or talking to someone in the passenger seat can lead to disaster.
Teach it to them like a mantra: eyes on the road, hands on the wheel.
Not scanning. What’s scanning? That’s where a driver routinely takes quick glances around at other cars and the road to make sure they are aware of any potential hazards that could pose problems.
This is a skill that most drivers develop over time as they become more experienced on the road and learn what to watch out for. Unfortunately, one thing that teen drivers aren’t is experienced, so most don’t automatically follow this practice.
However, they can be taught. You just have to show them how to do it.
Sadly, sometimes even the safest drivers in the world become involved in accidents. If your teen gets hurt in a crash due to the negligence of another, fight back by filing a personal injury lawsuit to hold them accountable and get the compensation you deserve.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1998. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.