We are roughly halfway between Memorial Day and Labor Day – that time of year which marks the deadliest days for young drivers. Summer has always been a dangerous time for teens because they are out of school and out on the roads. But, the National Safety Council anticipates the risk to be increasing as a result of cellphone use by teen drivers. In rear-end crashes, teen drivers take zero evasive action (braking or swerving) in the half of those types of car accidents. If a teen driver is using their phone to text, call, take photos, etc., their eyes are off the road for 4.1 seconds of the last 6 seconds before a crash. The end result is that teen drivers are three times more likely than an adult driver to be involved in a fatal car crash. So, what can you do? Below are some easy tips for keeping your teen driver safe:
- Model good driving behavior yourself. Do not manipulate your cell phone while driving. Otherwise, your teen will think it is acceptable behavior. Remember, monkey see – monkey do.
- Limit the number of passengers your teen can have in the car. Studies show the more passengers the more distractions and the more likely your teen driver will have an accident. Some States limit the number of passengers a learning driver can transport. In Tennessee, a driver with a Teen/Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) – Intermediate Restricted License may only have one passenger in the car and cannot drive between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- Use apps to restrict and/or monitor your teen driver. Apps like Drive Smart prevent the phone from being used while a vehicle is in motion and override notifications are sent to parents. Apps like Mama Bear and Canary can tell you if your teen driver is exceeding pre-set speed limits, etc.
- Have your child execute a safety contract. Most insurance companies have versions of these contracts on their website. These help teen drivers know exactly what is expected of them. If the contract does not include it, write in the penalties for not following the contract. For example, if they violate any of the rules, they lose their driving privileges for two weeks for the first violation, etc.
- Teach your teen driver to ALWAYS wear a seatbelt. While the failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible in most car accident cases in Tennessee, it is indisputable that seatbelts save lives and reduce injuries.
I am through the teenage driving years for my oldest daughter and my son (who are both twenty-somethings), but of course I still worry about them. And, I still have one to go. Rest assured, my wife and I will be doing everything we can to teach her safe driving practices when she qualifies for a learner’s permit in five years.
At the Law Offices of John Day, our award-winning lawyers handle car accident cases every single day and we are here to successfully shepherd you through the process so that you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free). We handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we win. And, so you do not have to pay anything out of pocket, we advance all case expenses. Call today if you would like a FREE consultation.