October 18 through the 24 is designated Teen Driver Safety Week. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking this time to urge parents to discuss safe driving tips with their teenagers. By teaching adolescents safe driving now, it is hoped that they will become safe drivers for life.
To meet this goal, the NHTSA has designed a 5 to drive program. A new topic on driver safety should be discussed each day. Day one should address alcohol. Teens should be reminded that the legal drinking age is 21. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among 15 to 20 year olds in the United States, and of the 15-20 year olds who were killed in crashes, 29 percent were under the influence of alcohol.
On day two, teens should be reminded about the dangers of distracted driving. This is important to highlight because a study of crashes involving 15 to 19 year olds in 2013 revealed that 11 percent were distracted at the time of the wreck. Day three should focus on seat belt usage. In 2013, more than half of 15 to 20 year olds killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts. Day four should focus on driving the speed limit. Day five should focus on not having extra teen passengers. Extra passengers increases the likelihood of risky behavior.
Though Teen Driver Safety Week is a great way to begin a discussion on driver safety, it is only the beginning. Being safe behind the wheel should be an ongoing discussion between parents and guardians and the teens that they care for. Practicing safe driving decreases the chances of being involved in car accident.
However, when this knowledge fails to protect an individual from a careless teen who causes an accident, the victim can be left with extensive harm. Those who have been wrongly hurt in an accident caused by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent teen driver may want to consider taking legal action in an attempt to recover his or her damages.
Source: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Highway traffic Safety Administration, “NHTSA encourages parents of teens to join the 5 to Drive campaign,” Oct. 19, 2015