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Teens Face Serious Risks Behind the Wheel this Summer

December 31, 1969

Speeding may have been the cause of a recent single-car accident that took the life of a 19-year-old from Orange County. According to the Los Angeles Times, the accident happened just before 1:00 a.m. when the teen driver slammed his vehicle into a tree along Susan Street.
Darren Wood with the Costa Mesa Police Department believes that the driver was "probably going too fast."

Officers are still investigating and it has not been determined if alcohol played a factor in this collision. There was one passenger in the vehicle who sustained some injuries and is still recovering in the hospital.

Our Costa Mesa car accident lawyers understand the risks that teenage drivers face out there behind the wheel. Their inexperience alone already puts them at some serious risks for an accident. That's why it's important for parents to step in and help. This is especially important during this time of the year when many teens are enjoying summer break from school and are spending more time behind the wheel.

The relationship between age and driving behavior has interested highway safety researchers and administrators for many years. Traffic accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for teenagers across the country. Drivers aged 16 to 19 years of age have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any other age group.

In the state of California, there were more than 215 teenage drivers killed in traffic accidents in 2011. There were more than 160 passengers of young drivers killed in these accidents, too. It's clear that these drivers' inexperience behind the wheel is affecting everyone out there.

But they're not just hurting the occupants of their own vehicles. They're also killing other motorists. As a matter of fact, teen drivers killed close to 150 people in other vehicles and close to 100 people who were outside of a vehicle (pedestrian, bicyclist, etc.)

So parents, what can you do to help?

You can start off by enacting a parent-teen driving contract. A
Parent-Teen driving agreement is a formal agreement between parents and their teen driver that outlines specific guidelines that parents and teens agree to follow. The agreement also establishes consequences and provides discussion points for not following the agreement. The agreement includes elements of California's Graduated Driver Licensing Law to ensure that teens follow state law.

In this agreement, you should include rules that lay out your teen's driving curfew, their passenger restrictions, communication tools and all of the consequences for breaking any of these rules. Having an understanding is the first step toward safe driving habits.

You should also make sure that you're riding along with them frequently. This is the best way to see what improvements can be made to their driving habits. Learning early is the best way to develop responsible and safe driving habits for a lifetime.

Contact Howard Law, PC today, if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-872-5925.

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School Safe Driving Program Aims to Help Los Angeles Teens Make Safer Driving Choices, California Injury Lawyers, May 27, 2013

Keeping Teen Drivers Safe through 100 Deadliest Days, California Injury Lawyers, May 7, 2013