There’s still a month left to go of what’s called the 100 Deadliest Days of driving. According to statistics from AAA, injuries and fatalities involving teen drivers historically jump during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day every summer.
As your new drivers make the most of the end of the summer, make sure to prepare them well for the dangers on the road both inside the car and out.
Why Is Summertime Driving More Dangerous?
To put it simply, the youngest drivers are on the road more frequently when they aren’t occupied by school and related activities. Teens are more likely to take longer trips during the summer and visit unfamiliar areas either within their home state or around the country, both of which increase the risk of a car accident.
Primarily, teen drivers tend to be some of the riskiest drivers on the road because they are the most likely demographic to be distracted while driving. Many people would rightly assume a major cause of distracted driving is teens looking at their mobile devices.
Distractions among teen crashes involve more than this likely culprit, however. According to AAA, major distractions that cause crashes include:
- Talking or giving attention to passengers in the vehicle
- Talking, texting, or looking at a cell phone
- Looking at something else in the vehicle
Teenagers are notorious risk-takers. Allowing them to have the freedom associated with a driver’s license and a car is a huge responsibility that requires careful training. It’s not just to protect new drivers, but to protect everyone on the road: nearly two-thirds of the people injured in teen car accidents are non-teenagers.
How to Help Your Teen Driver Stay Safe
At the end of the day, parents have a large influence on their teenage drivers. Kids will pick up and/or react against the way their parents drive, whether through direct instruction or simple observation. This means parents have a responsibility to lead by example: don’t look at your phone or glance around the vehicle, and make sure to always wear your seat belt.
Parents are also usually the owners or providers of the car the teen will use during the summer. Consider creating a contract with your child to limit car use and require good driving behavior in order to continue using the vehicle.
Follow up with inappropriate behavior, such as driving late at night or carrying too many passengers, by revoking driving privileges. Teach them early and often about the serious responsibility of operating a car to instill safe driving habits for the rest of their lives.
What to Do after a Car Accident
The best drivers, whether new or veteran, can find themselves hurt in a car accident through no fault of their own. If this happens to your teen driver, make sure they know you care first and foremost about their health, more than whose fault the accident was or how badly the car is damaged. Get proper medical attention and worry about the logistics of the car accident later.
Every driver remembers their first accident, and the memory is often tinged with regret, shame, and maybe even physical scars. Be fair and kind to your young driver in this scenario, as they may have already learned their lesson by the time any punishment is handed down.
When Teens Are Injured in Car Accidents that Aren’t Their Fault
Just like with any driver, teens who have been injured in a car accident should get medical attention as soon as possible, even and especially if the injury seems minor. This cost and any other treatment options will form the basis of your personal injury claim if the other driver is found to be at fault.
The car accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group are always ready to take a look at your case. Let us handle the paperwork, communicating with the insurance companies, and even filing a lawsuit, if necessary. We’ll make sure your family is taken care of with the compensation needed to cover medical costs and any other losses you may have suffered. Call us or contact us online today to start a conversation with us about your car accident.