Sobering statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that fatalities increased by 7.2 percent in 2015, and teen fatalities increased by 10 percent, pointing to a clear need for preventative action. Parents should understand the statistics and then focus on safe driving practices for both themselves and their teens throughout the year.
There are several steps that parents can take to reduce the risk of accident involvement for their teenagers.
Problematic Driving Behaviors
According to the NHTSA, several driving behaviors involving human choice were the primary drivers in the increased fatality rates. Distracted driving was responsible for an 8.8 percent increase of fatalities followed by failing to wear seat belts for an increase of 4.9 percent. An increase of impaired driving was seen at 3.2 percent as was increased fatalities due to speeding at 3 percent. The increases were seen despite safety improvements in cars, and the first six months of 2016 appear to show that the fatality rates are likely to increase even more this year.
What Can Be Done to Address Unsafe Driving Practices
Parents should sit down with their teenagers and talk to them about safety while driving. They should set clear rules about such things as never using a cell phone or other electronics while they are behind the wheel, never speeding and never driving impaired. Parents should mandate that their teens always wear safety belts whether they are passengers or drivers in vehicles. They should teach their children to speak up if they are riding in cars that are being driven by others in unsafe ways. In addition, lawyers in Las Vegas strongly believe that parents should model good driving practices for their teens at all times. This means that parents should refrain from using any electronics or smartphones while they drive. They should obey all traffic laws and use seat belts. Of course, parents should also never drive impaired.
What Can Happen If a Teen Causes an Accident
If a teenager causes an accident because of distracted, impaired or reckless driving, injury lawyers in Las Vegas may represent the injured victims in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against the teenager. In some cases, the attorneys may also name the parents as defendants to the lawsuits, depending on whose car the vehicle is and the reason the teenagers were driving. Encouraging safe driving practices can save the lives of teenagers and those around them.