Protect your teen from a car crash

Many teenagers have sadly perished in road accidents in North Carolina. In its 2017 Traffic Crash Facts, the NC Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said teen drivers aged 15 to 19 were involved in 52,385 car crashes, resulting in 88 deaths. The DMV added that 12,869 teens were injured in auto accidents in the same year.

The truth is, accidents can happen to anyone, and we all make mistakes when driving. At times, we get distracted, we overcorrect, we look away for a moment, or we drive a bit too fast.

As parents, a car wreck involving your teen is one of your biggest worries when that person obtains a license. While accidents will happen despite precautions taken as a parent or teen driver, there are some precautions which will help reduce risk of life threatening accidents.

Based on the state’s 2018 Highway Safety Plan, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among NC teens. To protect the lives of young drivers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised the following:

  1. Teach your teen how to drive – Since accidents usually occur in the first year a teen acquires a license, provide at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving within a period of six months. The CDC said this should be done on different roads at different times of day, and in various weather and traffic conditions. While on the road, tell your teenager to watch out for potential dangers that include other vehicles, bikers, and pedestrians.
  2. Limit the number of teen passengers – The risk of accidents increases when teens drive with other teenagers in the car. To prevent this, restrict the number of teen passengers to one during the first six months that your teen is driving.
  3. Don’t drive at night – The CDC said this is the time that fatal accidents usually occur. To be on the safe side, be sure that your teen is home by 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. in the first six months of driving.
  4. Buckle up for safety – Seatbelts save over 15,000 lives yearly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tell your teen to always use one whenever driving.
  5. Don’t be distracted – Distractions can kill your teenager. Remind your teen to avoid talking on the cell phone, texting, eating, or fiddling with the radio while driving.
  6. Don’t fall asleep behind the wheel – Drowsy driving is responsible for thousands of accidents every year. Make sure your teen is well-rested before driving and don’t allow early morning or night driving.
  7. Drive carefully – The CDC said teens usually drive recklessly since they lack the experience, judgment, and maturity to know what’s risky. Remind your teen to follow the speed limit and adjust this depending on road conditions. When driving, leave enough space to avoid crashing into another vehicle when the latter suddenly stops.
  8. Don’t drink and drive – Drinking and driving don’t mix, so stay sober behind the wheel. Be a good example to your teen by following this rule.

Have you or your loved one recently figured in a road accident? Did you suffer physically, mentally, or emotionally because of this? If your accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.

Know your options by consulting a trusted personal injury lawyer like Maggie Shankle of Shankle Law Firm, PA. Maggie specializes in personal injury law, among others, and has helped many people in North Carolina. With Maggie, help is just a phone call away. Contact her today for peace of mind!