Parents need to set an example for their teenage drivers

Distracted driving and speeding are dangerous for all motorists, but especially so for teenagers who are new to the road. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers and new drivers are far more likely to be involved in an accident than more experienced ones. As the Gant Daily recently reported, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently helped highlight the risks posed to novice drivers as part of a nationwide Teen Driver Safety Week. PennDOT points out that preventing car accidents among teen drivers ultimately comes down to parents setting a good example for their children, including by buckling up and not texting and driving.

Setting an example

Many people’s driving habits begin when they are teenagers, which is why it is so important to teach teenagers the value of safe driving early on. However, as Forbes reports, many parents either fail to realize the risks of teen driving or don’t set a good example for their teenage children about what constitutes safe driving.

A recent National Safety Council survey, for example, found that approximately three quarters of parents failed to identify car accidents as the leading threat to teenage safety. Car accidents are, in fact, the number-one killer of teenagers. Furthermore, 91 percent of parents who admit to driving while using a cellphone also say they continue to do so even if their children are in the car with them. Distracted driving has been linked to 58 percent of all car accidents involving teenagers.

Teen driver safety

PennDOT is trying to stress the importance parents often play in ensuring their children are good drivers. In addition to setting an example through driving safely themselves, parents should also have a frank discussion with their children about what is and is not permissible when on the road. For example, limits need to be set in regards to nighttime driving and driving with passengers in the car, since both factors increase the likelihood of an accident, especially among young drivers.

The statistics themselves show why teaching teens about safe driving is so important. Between 2009 and 2014, 16- to 19-year-olds were involved in over 113,000 accidents in Pennsylvania, which resulted in 859 deaths. Furthermore, speeding, inexperience, distractions, and/or careless driving were to blame in 42 percent of those crashes.

Involved in an accident?

Unsafe driving can easily lead to dangerous and often fatal car accidents. While the pain and trauma of such accidents can never be undone, victims should be aware that they do have legal options available to them. An experienced personal injury attorney can help those who have been hurt in an accident, including by clarifying if compensation can be pursued and what steps need to be taken when making a claim.