May is national Youth Traffic Safety month. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “almost 2,400 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed, and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments” because of car accidents in 2019.
Many youth car accidents are highly avoidable. By educating the young drivers you know and instilling good habits, you can help keep the roads safe for them and their fellow motorists. To help the young drivers in your household stay safe and reduce the number of youth car accidents, Lerner and Rowe is here with five valuable safety tips they should know.
Learn the Rules of the Road
Although teen drivers in your household may have their license, it’s possible that they might not have strong knowledge of Indiana traffic laws–or, they forgot many of them. Being familiar with the rules of the road is vital to preventing youth car accidents. Have the young drivers in your family review the Indiana Driver’s Manual periodically and keep it handy for reference.
Indiana seat belt laws are particularly important. Any occupant over the age of 16 found to not be wearing a seat belt can be fined $25 for a first offense. Restraint laws for children under the age of 8 are even more restrictive. Making sure that teens understand how tremendously important proper seat belt use is a huge factor in keeping them safe while driving.
Distracted Driving Is On the Rise
One of the fastest-growing causes of Indiana car accidents is distracted driving. Many experts link the rise in distracted driving accidents to advancements in mobile phones. Before, you only had to worry about drivers talking on the phone or texting while driving. Now you have to be careful of drivers that are web browsing, watching videos, or playing games instead of focusing on the road.
With mobile phones being a huge part of many teenagers’ lives, distracted driving is particularly prevalent with younger drivers. It’s important to teach them how dangerous this can be. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reported 3,142 distracted driving fatalities in 2019, which accounted for 8.7% of traffic deaths. Making sure that the teens in your household never drive while distracted can save lives.
Simple Safety Checks Are Massively Important
Young drivers should get into the habit of doing safety checks of their vehicles every week or so. Making sure that windshield wipers can stand up to the rain, or even rare May snowfall, is a simple task that can make a huge difference in safety.
Tires are especially important. Teach the teen drivers you know how to inspect tire treads and check tire pressure. Additionally, tell them the location of a trusted tire shop in your town so that they know where to go if they need some air. Something as simple as making sure tires are suitable for the road can help prevent youth car accidents.
Respect Mother Nature
Most teen drivers are still learning the basics of driving, so inclement weather may throw a nasty curveball at them. Northwest Indiana receives a wide variety of weather, making it important to teach young drivers that driving in the rain or driving in the snow can be drastically different from driving under clear conditions.
If possible, accompany them on a drive when rain or snow is coming down, so that you can teach them in real time and take over if they get uncomfortable with the weather conditions.
Only Drive When You’re Mentally and Physically Fine
One of the most avoidable causes of Indiana car accidents is driving while not in a state to do so. This can range from things like driving after an emotional encounter to driving while mentally or physically fatigued. Operating a heavy and powerful vehicle while under great duress or lacking sleep can easily lead to an accident.
Teach your teen to never get behind the wheel in such a condition. Also, let them know that it’s perfectly fine to pull over to the side of the road for a quick nap or to calm down. After all, it’s much better to take 15 minutes or so to destress or clear your mind than it is to suffer a personal injury from an avoidable car crash.
Contact a Youth Car Accidents Lawyer
Lerner and Rowe hopes that you found the safety tips above useful. Please share them with the young drivers in your family and any other young drivers you know. Unfortunately, some youth car accidents will happen no matter how safe the driver is being. If a teen driver in your family has gotten into an accident because of the reckless or negligence of another party, please contact us immediately.
The personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe are available 24/7 to provide assistance in the event of an accident. You can reach our representatives by phone at 219-227-4993, through the Internet using our LiveChat feature, or by filling out a secure case form.
Consultations are free and our firm works on a “no win, no fee” basis. That means you won’t be charged a dime unless your case is won. Our lawyers have worked hard to win our clients the most money possible and worked even harder to gain their trust. Give us a call to find out why Lerner and Rowe is one of the most trusted names in personal injury law.