Spring break is in the air, and so is the collective sigh of relief from teens who are just itching to spend some time away from school. During this time of the year, we see a significant spike in the number of these young drivers on our roadways. This is also a time when we see a significant increase in their risks for accidents.
Our Costa Mesa car accident lawyers are asking parents and guardians to step in and to talk with the teen drivers in their family before they head out on spring break. It's important that we remind them of the risks they face out there behind the wheel. Oftentimes, teens don't understand these risks and think they're invincible behind the wheel. We need to remind them that safe and defensive driving habits can save their lives.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for teens and young adults in the U.S. In the state of California, there were close to 400 teens killed in traffic accidents in 2010. During that year, we were ranked as the number one most dangerous state for these kinds of accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Share these rules, regulations and safety tips with your teen driver today:
-Always wear a seat belt. This is your number one defense against injury and death in the event of an accident.
-Make sure you've got enough sleep. Teens need more sleep and anyone else. Make sure they're getting at least 9 hours of sleep each night.
-Never drink and drive. This is one of the most dangerous scenarios you can put yourself in.
-Single vehicle crashes are the most common type of crash involving teens.
-Keep an eye on how many passengers are in the vehicle. Passengers only increase the risks of an accident for a young driver.
-Never tailgate other vehicles. You want as much time to react as possible. Following too closely only minimizes that reaction time.
-Whenever you get behind the wheel, make sure your headlights are on. This will not only help you to see your surroundings, but it's going to help other travelers to see you, too.
-Keep your attention on driving. Paying attention to cell phones and text messaging devices only increase your risks for an accident. Driving is an important task that requires all of your attention.
-Make sure you maintain your vehicle. Check it frequently to make sure the tires are in good condition and the fluids under your hood are topped off. Check on the windshield wipers, too. You don't want to get stuck in the rain with poorly-working wipers.
Another good idea is to enact a parent-teen driving contact within your household. This will help you to lay down all of the expectations that you have for your teen driver. You can also lay down the consequences for breaking these rules, just so we're all on the same page.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
Parents -- A Vital Role in Teen Driver Safety, California Injury Lawyers, March 11, 2013