The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest for teens on the road, with fatal car accidents killing an average of eight teens each day during these summer months.
A study by State Farm and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that 75% of fatal accidents caused by teen drivers were because of three mistakes:
- Driving too fast for road or weather conditions.
- Not paying attention to the road and what may have been coming ahead or from the side.
- Being distracted by something – or someone – inside or outside the vehicle.
It is startling to note that more than half of all fatal teen accidents are one-car crashes, and the main factor in one-car crashes is excessive speed. Inexperience and speed results in thousands of fatal accidents every year.
Here are some tips for parents of teen drivers from teendriversource.org, a website hosted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:
- Set clear rules, boundaries and expectations. Rather than stating, “You’ll do as I say,” explain your reasoning.
- It’s about safety, not control. Make sure they understand rules are in place for their safety, not to control them. As their skills develop and they become more responsible, introduce new privileges.
- Be responsive. Listen to their concerns and, when appropriate, modify expectations to fit circumstances.
- Recognize their need to become independent. Reward responsible behavior with greater privileges.
- Let them know you can be counted on for help and support. How a parent shows support may be different from family to family, but it’s important teens know you can be relied on. One way is to be the scapegoat to help them save face with friends.
- Pay attention. To help teens make good safety decisions, keep the lines of communication open. Know where they are going and why, and discuss how they will get there and when they will be home. Provide alternatives to allow them to avoid unsafe driving situations.
- Lead by example. Follow the rules of the road. Always wear a seat belt. Don’t talk or text on a cell phone while driving. Don’t speed.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.