Teens, Think You’re Not A Distracted Driver? Think Again!
One of the leading causes of death among teenagers is traffic accidents. Unfortunately, the most likely individuals who head the list in distracted driving statistics are teenagers and many become swayed by texting or chatting on their cellphones.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Any activity that diverts an individual’s attention from the task of driving safely can be considered distracted driving. Distractions such as eating, drinking, texting, cellphone usage, grooming, chatting with other passengers and adjusting the radio can all be an endangerment to their safety. The driver, passengers and innocent bystanders can be affected by this growing trend, and the statistics can be staggering. Close to 4,000 individuals were killed in accidents involving a distracted driver last year and another 399,000 were injured.
The best way to lower these horrific statistics is through education and a no cell pledge. Fines should be enough to stop teens from texting or using their cellphone while driving, and the amounts can exceed $300 in some areas. Whether you listen to a Los Angeles police officer or an auto accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, you will hear that your insurance rates can also be affected by distracted driving accidents, even if the crash wasn’t serious. Because this is a national problem, high insurance rates will be a factor for everyone.
Taking A “No Cellphone” Pledge
A no cell pledge takes a stand to end distracted driving, and your teen can be an active participant by signing the form. Through this pledge, they agree to never text or chat on the phone when driving. They also agree to speak up if they see their friends, family and other individuals drive distracted. Your teen can also do their part to educate the public about distracted driving, and enlist ways that others can learn to drive phone-free.
Safety Tips To Avoid Distracted Driving
There are a number of reasons why teens head the list in distracted driving. Feelings of invincibility and immaturity lead them to believe that an accident won’t happen to them. To ensure that your teen understands the serious consequences of the situation, you can implement some important safety tips. Parents can begin by setting a good example by driving safe. Other ways your teen can practice safe driving includes turning off the cellphone and keeping it tucked away until you’ve reached your destination.
Cellphones also have options that notify your friends that you’re driving, and you’ll respond when you are able. If you know that you’re going to be driving, don’t text or call anyone before you leave. Music is an important part of your teen’s driving experience and you can try setting your playlist, radio and sound levels before heading out on the road. Finally, if you get lost, drop something on the floor of the car or need to look at your GPS, find a safe location to pull off to the side of the road.
A teen’s mind is filled with thoughts of school, relationships, after school activities and family, and it can be easy for them to get distracted. However, they need to be an active participant in not driving distracted. As a parent, ensuring your teen’s safety is at the forefront of your mind. If they choose not to follow your rules, you can take their car driving privileges away until they can prove they are responsible young adults and realize the seriousness of distracted driving.
Having a teen nephew rapidly approaching the driving age gives Nadine Swayne the motivation to offer this article to parents. At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, you can speak with an auto accident lawyer in West Palm Beach if your teen is involved in a distracted driving accident. Since 1997, they have handled cases for client’s involved in collisions in south Florida.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/statefarm/7979444605/
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