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Teen Car Accidents: What Should Parents Know?

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teen car accidents, teen driving accidents, DuPage County car accident attorney, seat belt use, dangerous drivingWhen your teen starts talking with you about driving and obtaining a license in DuPage County, what do you need to know in order to help your child remain safe on the road? Specifically, what role do parents play in preventing teen car accidents?

It is important to understand the hazards of teen driving and to take steps to prevent a car crash, whether your teenager has access to an automobile or asks to ride as a passenger in a vehicle with another teen driver. 

Consider the following facts and figures with regard too teen driving accidents, as well tips for parents whose teens are just beginning to drive.

Getting the Facts About Teen Car Crashes

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are currently the leading cause of death for teens in the United States? According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately six teenagers sustain fatal injuries everyday, on average, as a result of a traffic collision. Indeed, teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are “nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.”

The CDC cites the following as factors that put teen drivers at risk of a crash:

  • Due to inexperience, teens tend to underestimate the hazards of a dangerous driving situation and to make a critical decision mistake that results in a crash;
  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to behave aggressively behind the wheel, primarily speeding and tailgating other drivers;
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use among any driving age group (only 61 percent of high school students surveyed indicated that they wear a seat belt);
  • Accident risks increase more for teens who consume alcohol than for adults; and
  • About 20 percent of teens admitted to riding in a vehicle with another teen who had been drinking just in the last month, while 8 percent of those students admitted to driving a car after drinking alcohol.

What role do parents play in helping to lessen these risks?

Parental Roles in Preventing Motor Vehicle Collisions Among Teens

If you are a parent in DuPage County with a teen driver (or a teenager who will soon reach an age at which she or he can drive, or ride in vehicles with other teens), you may be wondering what role you play in preventing crashes. As the National Safety Council (NSC) emphasizes, parents can play the most important role in teen accident prevention.

While laws are in place to limit teen driving risks, the NSC suggests that a parent-teen driving contract can be very effective in reducing the risk of a serious or deadly crash. This contract between parent and child should clarify some of the following:

  • When and where the teen can use the car;
  • Whether the teen can drive with other passengers;
  • Whether the teen can drive at night;
  • How the teen will prevent distracted driving;
  • How a teen’s driving privileges can be increased; and
  • Repercussions for violating traffic safety laws and/or the terms of the contract.

If you have questions about filing an accident claim, you should discuss your case with a passionate DuPage County car accident attorney. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/index.html

http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/Teen-Driving-Resources-and-Tips-for-Parents.aspx

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