As parents, we know the liberating, yet terrifying feeling when our teenagers start to drive themselves places. Sure, they completed their driver’s education classes with flying colors and you spent hours upon hours teaching them your own best practices and giving them lessons on the road. But what happens when you aren’t there? While it is no surprise that all drivers partake in risky behaviors now and again, teenagers are especially prone to engage in certain dangerous activities while in a car. Read below for six common but especially hazardous and extremely deadly behaviors many teenage drivers exhibit while driving or riding in cars, according to safekids.org. Some of these might surprise you.
1. They skip wearing a seatbelt.
Yes, it is true. No matter how many times you have reminded them, teens sometimes forget, or even refuse to wear a seat belt while driving or riding as a passenger. Safekids.org data reveals more than half of teens involved in deadly car accidents were not wearing a seatbelt.
2. They text while driving.
While you have likely lectured your teenagers time and time again to NOT be distracted drivers, it happens more often than you think. When texting, drivers typically have their eyes off of the road for roughly five seconds, which means they can travel the distance of a football field without looking up once. The decision to text and drive has caused far too many deadly accidents on U.S. roads in recent years.
3. They don’t speak up when they feel unsafe in a car.
Did you know that half of teens riding in a car with a friend have reported feeling unsafe due to the driver’s lack of attention or alertness? In addition, one-third of teens have reported feeling unsafe in the car with their own parents driving. Set the example for your teen driver and always aim to be a safe, cautious driver. Encourage them to speak up if they feel otherwise.
4. They ride with way too many passengers.
Sure, we understand when your teen finally gets their license it is the cool thing to do to drive their friends around. Unfortunately, that can hinder the safety of everyone in the car. Many teens aren’t aware some states have a limit on passengers legally allowed to ride. Additionally, studies have shown when two or more teenagers ride with a teen driver, the risk of a fatal crash can double or even triple!
5. They drink and drive.
If you think ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have diminished drunk driving, think again. Roughly 15 percent of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 who were killed in auto accidents had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher.
6. They tend to speed while driving.
With the excitement of getting a driver’s license and maybe even a new car, oftentimes comes reckless and fast driving. More than one third of teen drivers involved in car accidents were speeding at the time of the collision.
Encourage Teen Driver Safety
Unfortunately, nearly 3,000 teens die in car crashes every year. Don’t let your teen driver be one of them. Reiterate the dangerous behaviors we have mentioned above. Do what you can to remind them of the tragic consequences that come with each and every risky behavior. Set a good example as a parent driver and keep all of these tips in mind for yourself as well.
While your teenager might be an excellent driver, the same cannot be said for everyone else on the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, we can help. Contact the auto accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group today for a free case evaluation.