In its annual efforts to alert parents and teens about the risks associated with teen driving and the preventive steps they can take, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) once again ran a campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week 2022 (Oct. 16-22).
Kalfus & Nachman's top-rated teen car accident attorneys in Virginia get involved with parents and teens throughout the year to share safety tips. Our experts utilized National Teen Driver Safety Week as a platform to bring forth positive change locally by encouraging seat belt usage and other safe driving behavior among teens.
Teaching teens safe driving habits is a shared responsibility. But parents play a crucial role in improving teen driver safety by educating them on risk factors and advising them to develop safe driving habits. They must take the initiative to continue the conversations every day.
Parents Set Rules, Help Teens Stay Safe Behind The Wheel
Ensure teens know the rules of the road in Virginia and help them stay safe behind the wheel. Parents should set firm rules before handing over the car keys to the teens. Explain that the consequences for breaking the rules could be more serious than just being grounded.
Most parents think the best way to teach young kids about safety is to scare them straight. This doesn't help; instead, it causes them to shut down. However, stressing positive actions that teens can adopt to ensure their own safety and the safety of their peers can be strong messages for them.
You have control over everything your teen does as a parent, even how they drive. Your behavior sets an example when your teen is learning to drive. When you practice safe driving habits while driving, your teen will do the same. Be a role model for your teenage driver as they hit the road.
Keep in mind that you are a parent first. So, it's your responsibility to keep your teen safe. As your teen begins to navigate their new role as a driver, utilize this motivation to keep them safe. Here's what you can do:
- Practice more: Teens' inexperience is one of the most significant factors in car crashes. It takes time to become skilled. Ride with your kid often, practice at different times of the day, in different kinds of weather, and heavy and light traffic.
- Remind them of the passenger’s limit: Fortunately, Virginia has passenger restrictions for drivers under eighteen, i.e., to carry only one passenger.
- Say no to nighttime driving: Teen drivers' risk of fatal crashes is exceptionally high after the sun goes down. Ensure your teen is home and off-road before night.
- Make buckling up a rule: Seatbelt use saves lives. There is no better way to ensure the teen driver’s safety. Stress that you should always wear seat belts, whether you're the driver or the passenger.
- Avoid texting while driving: Your teen's hands, eyes, and mind are all off the wheel when they are texting while driving. Distractions increase the likelihood of collisions. If your teen needs to use a phone while driving, tell them to pull over to a safe location first.
- Don't drive drowsy: Don't allow your teen to drive if they are drowsy. Take them with you. Please make arrangements for a shared ride or let them take the bus.
- Slow down: Tell teens to say no to speeding. Regardless of the speed limit, two critical ones are driving too fast in general and driving too fast in poor road or weather conditions.
Instead of just talking about safe driving, establish your family's own rules and get your teen to sign a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement committing to them in writing.
Keep it out in the open to remind you daily of the importance of driving safely. Then, as your teen develops new skills, revise your agreement. They will be able to see their progress, and you will have another chance to promote safe driving. You hold the key to your teen's safe driving. Use it.
8 Great Dangers For Teen Drivers in Virginia
Auto Accidents are the primary reason for teenage fatalities. Ensure your teen is aware of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes among teen drivers, and establish rules to keep your teen safe. Here are eight top dangers for teens behind the wheels:
- Driver inexperience
- Teen passengers
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Inconsistent or no seat belt use
- Nighttime driving
Teenagers (15–18 years old) in the United States most frequently die in car accidents. In 2020, there were 2,276 fatalities in collisions involving young drivers (15–18 years old), 748 of them being teen drivers. According to estimates, 153,566 persons were hurt in crashes involving juvenile drivers in 2020, making up an estimated 90,564 of all road injuries. It represents about 7% of all injuries on roads that year.
Virginia Teens Remember The Six Rules For The Road
Remind the Virginia teens to drive safely and to always the following six rules for the road:
- No cell phones while driving
- No passengers
- No speeding
- No alcohol
- No drowsy driving
- Always buckle up
What should I do if my teen is in a car accident in Virginia?
Every day, Kalfus & Nachman assist injured drivers, but the most tragic case is when a young life is altered. You should arrive at the accident scene as soon as possible to console your teen if they are in an accident in Virginia. Nothing is more crucial than your child's health. Our dedicated attorneys are committed to supporting you in defending the legal rights of your adolescent. Contact us right away for a free consultation: 855-880-8163