How Parents Can Observe Teen Driver Safety Week

by Terry Bryant

With the coming of fall, the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers, which is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, is well behind us. During this deadly period, the risk to teens of being involved in motor vehicle accidents increases by over 40%. Over the summer of 2016, more than 1,050 people throughout the country were killed in accidents involving teen drivers, according to statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

However, just because these dangerous summer driving days are over for the year, doesn’t mean parents should breathe more easily about their teenagers’ safety behind the wheel. Now is a good time to remind teenagers about safe driving habits by observing National Teen Driver Safety Week, which takes place October 21-27, 2018. This annual event—now in its 11th year—is dedicated to reducing teen injuries and deaths in auto accidents. It is a time for teens, parents, police, policymakers, and other safety advocates to raise awareness and come up with solutions related to teen car crashes. Sadly, car accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers.

Here are some ways parents can support safe driving during teen safety week… and every week:

  • Keep communication open. Engage teens in two-way conversation about their driving concerns. Remind them to always wear seatbelts, never to text while driving, and observe traffic laws. Also, don’t call or text teens yourself when they may be driving, or they may feel compelled to answer your call and be distracted from the road.
  • Be a role model on the road. Walk the talk yourself by modeling safe driving habits to your kids. Refrain from using cell phones, speeding, yelling at other drivers, and exhibiting other dangerous driving behaviors. Show them through your driving that you understand and obey traffic rules.
  • Help young drivers practice. Make time to help your teenager gain supervised practice behind the wheel in a variety of driving situations. Even if your teenager is past the permit stage and has a license, a refresher course with an experienced driver that is focused on safe driving can be beneficial. Survey data shows that even teenagers who are cautious while learning to drive may throw caution to the wind when they have a license and can drive without an adult.
  • Limit their passengers. Inexperienced drivers can easily be distracted by others in the car, especially when the others are their friends. Data shows that teens who drive with two or more friends in the car more than triple their risk of a fatal crash.
  • Be on call. Help ensure that teens don’t get in the car with a driver who is under the influence—let them know they can always call you for a ride home. Discuss additional alternatives for getting home, such as taxis and ridesharing services. Also, tired driving is a big factor in teen crashes. Offer rides to school or work if a teen driver has not gotten enough sleep.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the experienced attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help. Call us at 1 (800) 444-5000 or contact us through our online form. Get the compensation you deserve.