Automobile accidents are the number one cause of unintentional death for teenagers in the United States. Those numbers have stayed more or less consistent, and this can be blamed on the fact that distracted driving has been high among teenagers. Parents have a big role to play in reducing distracted driving with teenagers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that 3,092 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2010. About 416,000 people were also injured in these accidents.
There is a vast body of research to suggest that cell phone use behind the wheel is extremely dangerous, and can dramatically impact a motorist’s risk of an accident. Those risks are simply amplified in the case of teenage drivers who are already at the highest risk of accidents.
Teenagers are inexperienced, unskilled, and may lack the kind of experience necessary to identify accident hazards on the road. Besides, car accident lawyers find that they may be much more prone to peer pressure, and therefore, may be susceptible to dangerous practices like speeding. When you add distracted driving to this mix, the combination is deadly.
Parents have a big role to play in reducing the risk of distracted driving involving their children. Parents must sit down and discuss cell phone use while driving, especially because so many teenagers now own smartphones.
If you buy your child a smartphone, set very strict rules about the use of the phone. Establish strict restrictions against using the cell phone for any kind of activity at the wheel. That includes hands-free use of the phone, because statistics show that such hands-free operation can also be a huge risk behind the wheel.
Make sure that these rules are set down clearly in a parent-teen driving agreement. Make sure that your child wears a seat belt every time he drives, and discuss the need to avoid other driving-related risks, like speeding and drunk driving.
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