Parents, educators, coaches, and youth mentors have a tremendous opportunity to use the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day as a chance to educate teens about the dangers of driving. Why this period? Dubbed by AAA as the “100 Deadliest Days”, it is a time when teens are most vulnerable to being injured in car accidents.
According to statistics, teen driving takes a sobering turn during the summertime. Not only are around 1,000 people expected to lose their lives as a result of teen driving crashes during the 100 Deadliest Days, but many other victims will suffer disabling injuries. The best way to reduce these numbers this year and those to come is with education.
Teen drivers are at a disadvantage because they lack the experience and judgment necessary to make smart decisions, especially in split second situations. They deserve the chance to find out how they can become exceptional drivers with stellar records.
Parents and other adults in regular contact with teens can make it their mission to help young drivers get a better, more thoughtful perspective on their role as the operator of a car, truck, van or SUV. Below are some tips to weaving discussions about proper driving etiquette into everyday experiences.
Teens tend to emulate the people they see in their lives. Moms, dads, uncles, aunts, and even bus or van drivers should make certain they obey everything from the speed limit to the proper way to stop at a stop sign. They can also talk with teens while they are driving, explaining why they make certain decisions such as turning on the low beams or slowing down around a curve along a rural road. This ritual can begin well before a teen gets their driving permit and can continue well after they pass their driver’s test.
This type of communication sets teen drivers up for success because it gives them a better understanding of what to do when it is their turn. It can also help to reinforce safe driving practices for even the more experienced adults, thus making everyone safer.
Parents who have control over their teen’s car use should make a point of writing down their rules and sticking to them. For instance, teens should never read or write texts, or even pick up their cell phones, while operating a vehicle. Doing so constitutes distracted driving, a top problem among teens and adults.
Although it can be difficult for parents to say no to allowing a teen to drive, it is worth it if the teen violates the house driving rules. Parents may even want to demand a specific itinerary from their driving teens so they know exactly where they will be. Over time, having a zero-tolerance attitude helps teens develop an internal sense of smart versus ill-conceived driving choices.
Teens hear about the dangers of drinking and using drugs while they are in school. Yet they need to hear it regularly to reduce the desire to give into peer pressure. A drunk teen driver could not only be hurt or killed in a car accident, but could injure or kill passengers, other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Teens who learn to drive responsibly thanks to help from the people who care about them inevitably become better adult drivers. However, teen drivers can and do make errors, especially during the 100 Deadliest Days. If you have been injured because of the choices made by a teen driver, contact a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. to discuss your legal options. Contact us online or call 412-765-1888 or toll free at 800-243-6095 to arrange a free consultation. From our offices in Pittsburgh, we work with individuals and families in Western Pennsylvania, including the areas of Allegheny County, Washington County, and Lawrence County.