Keeping Your Kids Safe While Driving
As your son or daughter takes the keys to the family car and sits behind the wheel for the first time, any parent’s natural reaction is to worry about his or her child’s safety.
Inexperience and impulsiveness behind the wheel can make teenage drivers more likely to be involved in car accidents. Parents can help keep their teens safe on the road by reviewing certain teen driving safety tips with their child.
Teen Driving Safety Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, during one recent year:
- 2,163 teenagers between ages 16 and 19 died in the U.S. in motor vehicle crashes, or six per day
- More than 240,000 teens were seen in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in car wrecks, or roughly 660 per day
- Drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 years for 30 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle crashes among males and 28 percent of the total costs among females.
Parents are not helpless in the face of these statistics. Parents can take measures to educate their teenage drivers and help to decrease the likelihood that their teen will be involved in a serious car accident.
Insist on Your Teen Practicing Safe Driving Habits
Parents of teens quickly learn that they are not able to supervise their child 24/7 and cannot accompany their child on every drive. In some situations, a parent can only hope that his or her teenage driver remembers the instructions and lessons that the parent gave to the child when the child gets behind the wheel of a car.
It is important for you and your child to discuss safe driving tips, including the following tips from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety:
- Buckle up every time the child drives or rides in a car – no matter the distance – Research and publications by agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that seatbelts save lives. Your child should buckle up every time he or she is in a car – even if he or she is not the driver. If your child is the driver, teach your child to insist that any other passengers in the car also wear their safety belts.
- Never drive when the teenager is drowsy, fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Both driving while impaired and driving while fatigued decrease a teenage driver’s senses, impairs his or her judgment, increases the amount of time necessary for him or her to react to a hazard and increases the chances the teen will be involved in a car wreck. The teen should also refrain from riding with any driver who is impaired or fatigued. Make a plan with your teenager as to how he or she can get home if he or she cannot safely drive home.
- Slow down – especially at night and in bad weather – A teen driving at an appropriate speed given the traffic and weather conditions is better able to avoid a crash or hazard. Teens who speed risk making abrupt, knee-jerk reactions when a deer crosses their path or a car in front of them suddenly slams on its brakes. It can cause the teen to lose control of the car and crash – even if the teen never strikes another car or a deer.
- Limit other passengers – at least at first – Teenagers who drive and attempt to carry on conversations with their passengers will often either take their attention off of the road and/or disregard traffic laws in an attempt to impress fellow passengers. Either of these behaviors can increase the likelihood of an accident. Set rules for your child that restrict the number of passengers he or she can transport while learning to drive. As your child becomes more comfortable driving, your child can discuss with you whether he or she can begin transporting peers and friends.
While rules and proper driver education can give your teen the tools necessary to avoid car wrecks, your teen’s behavior is ultimately what will help keep him or her safe or endanger him or her further.
What Should My Teen Do After a Goldsboro Car Accident?
Part of preparing your teenage driver for driving in and around Goldsboro and across North Carolina is teaching your child what to do in the event he or she is involved in a car wreck.
Your child’s first priority should be ensuring that he or she is safe and that medical assistance is promptly summoned. In addition to contacting you or another designated person, your child should:
- Be evaluated by emergency medical personnel and obtain an evaluation from a doctor or nurse as soon as possible – even if he or she feels fine.
- Obtain the other driver(s) name, contact information and insurance information.
- Obtain the contact information for any witnesses on the scene who indicate they either observed the accident or provided aid or spoke with the other driver(s) involved.
- If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, including pictures of the vehicles involved (inside and out), the roadway where the accident occurred, any road signs or road markings near the site of the accident, skid marks and debris.
In the aftermath of a Goldsboro car wreck, stress, anxiety and adrenaline run high. It is easy for any driver – especially a teenage driver – to forget one or more of these steps. Consider reviewing these steps with your teenager multiple times or creating an accident checklist for your teen driver to keep in the car in the event of a crash.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer if My Teen is in a Crash?
If your teen is injured in a car crash, consider hiring an experienced Goldsboro Personal Injury Attorney to help with your case. At Strickland Agner Pittman, we understand the fears and anxieties teenage drivers and their parents have following a car accident. We will ensure that you and your teenage driver understand the car accident claims process, and we will aggressively seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. Call our office or contact us online today to receive a free consultation.