The first year after a teen starts driving is the most dangerous time in her life. During these 12 months, she is three times as likely to have a car accident than drivers age 20 and older.
When teens start driving, parents worry, teach, lecture, and have teens sign driving contracts. Teaching a teen what to do in different driving scenarios and having a concrete agreement about acceptable behavior when driving will make him a better, safer driver.
Two additional things are likely to make the difference between a teen dying or living through a car crash: driving experience and wearing a seatbelt.
Experienced drivers have fewer car accidents
Research studies show that a lack of experience is the leading cause of wrecks involving a young teen driver.
Every time a new driver gets behind the wheel, she encounters a traffic situation she has never experienced before. She has a limited amount of first-hand knowledge to apply to each new situation and unsophisticated judgement when it comes to driving.
Being in the driver’s seat while being coached by an experienced driver will build her knowledge bank, and over time, will reduce the number of circumstances she encounters for the first time.
Some common causes of teen car accidents, lawyers say, are a failure to properly scan the roadway, driving too fast for road conditions, and being distracted from the job of driving.
Experience helps drivers automatically scan the entire environment and notice anything that might affect their driving or judgement. Experience also helps drivers match their speed to the environment around them and know when road or traffic conditions require slower speeds. Finally, experienced drivers may be better able to ignore distractions or prevent them from occurring (e.g. not fiddling with the radio and silencing phones before driving).
Seatbelts save teens’ lives
More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts. Teens whose parents are always buckled in are more likely to wear seat belts than teens whose parents do not wear them.
The risk of a car crash being deadly increases greatly when the driver or passengers are not wearing seat belts. An easy way to reduce the chances of a teen dying in a car accident is to ensure everyone in the car is properly strapped in.
Many cars automatically notify drivers if someone in the car is not buckled in. Leaving these warning mechanisms in place can help encourage seat belt use.
Parents who want to increase the safety of their teen drivers can do this by helping young teen drivers gain more experience on the roads and by ensuring everyone in the family always wears seat belts.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile crash, get the help that you need from the car accident lawyers at Cerritos Legal. Call today at 562-865-9356 for your free consultation.