How To Prepare Your Teen For Driving
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-to-19-year-olds. With that awful statistic, it is no wonder Michigan has a graduated licensing system to help young drivers learn to identify high risk driving situations and provide enough training and time to learn how to become a responsible motorist. The two-step system focuses on increasing adult supervision and extending the educational requirements of the novice driver. Yet Michigan residents under age 18 are still responsible for 6.7 percent of serious car crashes.
Teens Lead the Distracted Driving Risk Group
Teen drivers are more likely to speed while driving and not wear their seatbelts. They also are more easily distracted by texting, riding with friends, playing music, and using mobile apps and other social networking outlets while driving. These irresponsible behaviors often lead to accidents and sometimes — even death. Ten percent of drivers of all ages under the age of 18 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. In addition, many studies have shown that teens suffer the highest fatality rate caused by distracted driving compared to other age groups.
Common teen driving distractions include:
It’s an epidemic. All ages of drivers are guilty of texting while operating a vehicle but teenagers are a unique majority because they are actively choosing to split their attention between driving and texting. They take their hands off the wheel and eyes of the road more often than other age groups, throwing them into more dangerous behind-the-wheel situations.
In addition to texting, technology in general has become a major driving hazard and distraction for most teens. They take their eyes and attention off the road so they can check-in on their social media accounts, change their music, or are using their phone as a computer while driving. Drivers at any age should not use any type of mobile device while operating a motor vehicle.
Teen drivers who travel with other teens have an increased accident rate because they are distracted by conversations and not paying attention to road signs, speed limits, or traffic laws.
In an age of increasingly connected vehicles, many cars are fitted with applications that could take a driver’s eyes and attention off the road and their hands off the wheel. The good thing is that there are some apps that can be downloaded to encourage distraction-free drive. Drivers should start using them ASAP to get into the habit of not texting, talking, or playing on their phone while driving.
Parents Can Lead By Example
Parents can greatly help their teen drivers by doing simple things like practicing driving with their teen and modeling good driver behavior. A parent who schedules at least 30 minutes of driving practice time each week is helping their child reduce their accident risk. During each practice parents should be checking in, requesting their teen driver ask questions, and be honest in giving them useful driver feedback.
It is also important that parents model good driving behavior like wearing a seat belt, obeying speed limits, stay off their phones, and spend time learning what others are doing to help their teens drive.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Teen Driver?
Motor vehicle accidents caused by the use of hand-held devices, apps, texting and other distractions are becoming more and more common and teen drivers are the biggest group of these users.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a distracted teen driver, you or the family may be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call The Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE.