Teens are more likely to die in a car crash than from any other illness or injury. In fact, more than 5,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 20 die, and approximately 400,000 are seriously injured, in motor vehicle accidents every year. As parents, this is terrifying information. But there is some good news. The majority of teen driving-related deaths are largely preventable. With proper education and practice, and good role models for driving instructors (this is you, parents!), your child’s risk of being seriously injured or killed is dramatically reduced. Contact a Des Moines Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Today.
Teens are about four times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than any other age group. Even worse, they account for about 12% of all fatal car crashes. Males are at a significantly higher risk than females. Although some teen car crashes are the result of another person’s negligence, adverse weather conditions, or mechanical failures, the vast majority are due to some form of driver error or reckless behavior.
For starters, teens simply have less experience. If a seasoned driver begins to hydroplane on wet roads, for example, he or she is likely to have a more appropriate response to the hazard. Past experiences with dangerous situations help us develop a sort of instinct when we face similar situations in the future. Without these past experiences, young people are at a serious disadvantage. For this reason, it is wise to have young drivers avoid night driving and driving in adverse weather conditions during their first year on the road.
Model Good Driving Behaviors
Reckless behavior is also commonly involved in teen auto accidents. Young people are, by nature, less risk-averse than their older counterparts. They tend to feel invincible. The desire to ‘be cool’ also plays a big role in reckless behavior. Excessive speed, turning off headlights at night, doing ‘donuts’ in the snow, not wearing a seatbelt, drinking and driving, and aggressive or purposely erratic driving are all forms of reckless behavior. The best way to teach young drivers to adopt safe driving practices is by modeling good behavior for them. This is especially true when it comes to distracted driving. Texting and making phone calls while driving is inherently dangerous, yet many drivers do one or both all the time. If your kids see you texting while driving, they are significantly more likely to do it. Put your phone in the glove box while you’re driving and teach your kids to do the same.
Teens also tend to underestimate the danger of certain driving situations. For example, wet roads, speeding, and texting while behind the wheel. You may think your kids aren’t paying attention, and they will likely roll their eyes and yell, “Mom, I already know that!” more than once, but the reality is, they are listening. The information gets through to them, even if it’s annoying. Kids whose parents teach them, and model, good driving habits have a much lower risk of serious injury and death in an auto accident.
The Hope Law Firm – Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys Serving Des Moines and the Surrounding Area
If you’ve been injured in any type of auto accident, we can help. Even if you think the accident was your fault, it is still in your best interest to contact a Des Moines injury attorney as soon as possible. Our skilled legal team will help you determine the best strategy for moving forward. Contact the Hope Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.