Motor vehicle accidents are a problem for everyone, but they are especially dangerous for teens. In 2010, 7 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died every day as the result of car accident injuries, and in terms of average miles driven, this demographic is roughly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than their older counterparts. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a new campaign challenging parents to take initiative in the safety of their children. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
The NHTSA’s campaign is called ‘5 to Drive,’ and focuses on 5 critical driving practices that can help keep you teens safe behind the wheel:
1. No cell phone usage or texting while behind the wheel 2. No extra passengers
3. No speeding
4. No alcohol 5. No driving or riding without a seat belt
The agency is urging parents across the United States to sit down and discuss these issues with their kids, and believes that this has the potential to counteract common poor driving decisions that have contributed to the high death rate of teen drivers, such as:
• Over 50% of all teen passengers who died in car accidents in 2011 were unrestrained.
• 35% of all fatalities involving a teen driver cited speeding as a factor.
• 12% of the teens involved in deadly accidents were distracted at the time of their collision.
• In 2011 alone, more than 500 people were killed in the United States in accidents that involved a 14-18 year old driver with alcohol in their system, despite the fact that all states have a minimum drinking age of 21.
As parents, it is our job to set a good example for our children, and to model the driving that we wish to see. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ doesn’t work here. Inexperience and immaturity are a deadly mix when behind the wheel, so encourage your kids to ask you as many questions as possible about driving, and make it clear that driving is first and foremost a responsibility that must be respected. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
At Levin & Perconti, our lawyers are concerned first and foremost with the safety of everyone on the road. We have spent more than two decades representing the victims of wrongful injuries and Illinois car accidents, and that is why we encourage you to do everything you can to make sure that those accidents never happen. There are more than enough negligent and reckless drivers out their, don’t put yourself at greater risk by being one yourself.