National Teen Driver Safety Week runs from October 15 to 21. Communities, organizations, and schools all across the country wills spend the week promoting teen driver safety. Here in Virginia, multiple law enforcement agencies have also announced their participation in the annual event.
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens 15 to 18 years of age. Each year, more than 2,000 teenagers are killed in car crashes, and another 99,000 suffer serious injuries. Virginia loses about 60 teens each year in fatal car accidents. A Virginia auto accident attorney understands how critical it is for parents to talk to their teens on a regular basis of the importance of practice safe driving habits and always obeying the rules of the road:
Always buckle up: More than 30 percent of teens killed in car accidents each year were not wearing their seatbelts. Stress to your teen to always wear their seatbelts, even if they are only driving a short distance away. They should also insist any passenger buckle up too. And Mom and Dad, buckling up will be automatic for your teen if they grow up watching you do it too.
Limit passengers: Speaking of passengers, studies have shown that the risk of a teen driver being involved in a fatal crash spikes as the number of passengers in their vehicle increases. Passengers cause distractions, which can be especially dangerous to inexperienced drivers. Encourage your teen to drive with fewer passengers.
Avoid Those Distractions: Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone. Teach your teen to keep cell phones out of sight when they are driving. Just having the phone visible, lighting up with notifications or sound alerts, can be a dangerous distraction to a teen driver.
Speeding: One-third of all fatal teen accidents were speed-related. Emphasize to your child that they need to obey all posted speed limits, not only because speeding violates the law, but it also kills.
Drunk Driving: Alcohol plays a role in 20 percent of all fatal car accidents involving teens. Parents need to stress to teens that they should never drink and drive.
Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
If you have a teen driver, consider signing the parent-teen driver agreement with your child. The contract addresses multiple rules that teens should abide by if they are responsible enough to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The contract clearly states what the penalties are if the teen breaks any of the rules.
Contact a Va. Personal Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, no matter how safe a driver your teen is, there is always the risk that other drivers on the road will not be. If your teen has been injured in a crash caused by another driver, contact a seasoned Virginia car accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have for your child’s injuries.
Our Virginia injury law firm has successfully advocated for many injured clients in getting the damages they deserved for their injuries and would be happy to discuss the details of your child’s injuries and how we can help. For more information, check out our free safety and injury checklist for children and teens.