5 Things You Need to Know About Teen Drivers

teen driversOne of the most exciting rites of passage for a teenager is to get their driver’s license. Its important for these teen drivers to know what dangers lie ahead. But with this bit of freedom and privilege also comes an unsafe feeling of infallibility. Teens, however, are one of the most dangerous driving demographics, and the accident statistics surrounding them are frightening. Here are five things you need to know about teen drivers before you allow a newbie behind the wheel, and as you’re driving on the highway surrounding by neophyte drivers.

  1. Teen drivers are not experienced enough.

No matter how much time a teen has spent in driver’s ed or practicing their skills with an adult riding shotgun, it’s a simple fact that teens are not experienced drivers. They may be quicker than you, but when it comes to driving a teen’s reflexes are stunted by their ability to make the best decision in the moment. Plus, many teens believe that they are infallible. But they are more likely to crash than older drivers because they are simply not experienced enough on the roads. Teens are more likely to take risks, underestimate dangerous situations, or fail to recognize a hazardous situation. Speeding is more common among teen drivers, as is low seat belt use, and tailgating other drivers. Teens are overconfident drivers, and while this might be seen as a good trait in some respects, this bravado is what leads to bad decisions and fatal auto accidents.

  1. Teen drivers are distracted.

Distracted driving is an epidemic, and it has hit the teen demographic quite hard. Plenty of teens live by and, sadly, some die by their smartphones. An AT&T study found that smartphone owners ages 16 to 65 are engaging in some mighty frightening behaviors behind the wheel:

  • 70 percent use their smartphone
  • 61 percent send text messages
  • 33 percent use email
  • 28 percent browse the internet
  • 27 percent check Facebook
  • 17 percent take selfies (and post them)
  • 14 percent check Twitter and Instagram
  • 12 percent take videos
  • 10 percent video chat

To combat smartphone addiction, apps have been developed that many parents are downloading on their teen’s phone and also their own phone in order to track what their teen is doing behind the wheel. If your teen should be traveling from point A to point B, if they’re moving faster than a set speed limit, or if they’re sending texts or using their phone at all, apps like DriveMode, DriveSafe.ly, and Canary can help track this information.

  1. Teens drink and drive.

The combination of teen driving and drunk driving is indeed a deadly one, but both epidemics are a reality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35 percent of male drivers between 15 and 20 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding and drinking. Teens also make the poor choice to ride with other teen drivers who have been drinking. The majority of alcohol-related teen driving accidents occur between 3 p.m. and midnight on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. All levels of blood alcohol concentration increases the risk of an auto accident for teens than for older drivers (not that older drivers should consider themselves safer to drink and drive).

  1. Teen drivers are at greater risk in the summertime.

The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Between prom, graduation parties, and summer revelry, the dangers of being on the road are at an all-time high. The CDC reports that the leading cause of death for youth in America is car accidents. Between May and August, an average of 399 teens die in traffic accidents every month, according to AAA.

  1. They’re watching you.

Teens may be too cool for their parents, and they may act like they’re not listening to you, but they’re actually watching your every move behind the wheel, just like they have been since they were little children. Do you speed? Do you cut people off? Do you drive with one hand on the wheel? Do you text and drive? Do you neglect to wear your seatbelt? If you have a bad driving habit, don’t be surprised to find your teen doing the same thing as you. Teens with parents who they feel are good driving role models are less likely to be in an auto accident.

Your teen being on the road is a great opportunity for you to take stock of your own driving behaviors and make a vow to be a safer driver for the sake of yourself, your child, and the people with whom you share the road.

What You Can Do to Create Better Teen Drivers

If there is a teen driver in your family, initiate the conversation about safe driving habits over and over again. Most of the time, teens aren’t going to come to you with their questions – they want to be cool and have others believe they know what they’re doing. So do your parental duty and reinforce the rules: No texting and driving. No talking on the phone and driving. No smartphone usage at all while driving. No drinking and driving.

The rules may seem simple and common sense, but repeating them often and reminding your teen what’s OK and what’s not can go a long way toward your teen making the right decision when it comes to getting behind the wheel, or even getting in the passenger seat with another teen driver.

Christensen Law – The Michigan Auto Accident Attorney Who Gets Results

Your teen’s life is just beginning. Having a teen driver is an exciting time and a terrifying time, but focusing on what’s important – driving safely, using common sense, and setting a good example for your teen – can help prevent the worst from occurring. Nevertheless, if your teen has been involved in an auto accident in Michigan, or you have been in an auto accident because of a teen driver, visit veteran Michigan auto accident attorney David Christensen to discuss your case.

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Everyone at Christensen Law was extremely friendly and very easy to work with. Whenever I had a question, they took the time to talk with me and explained everything thoroughly. They were also very quick to return phone calls. I would definitely recommend Christensen Law to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.

I suffered Traumatic Brain Injury when struck by a vehicle while walking. My recovery was a long uphill battle; I had little energy to expend on daily routines and even LESS on caring for my home and life. I wondered how I could continue into the future with the difficulties I faced.

I handed the baton off to David and Sarah of Christensen Law. They resolved the unique challenges of my case while buffering me from the opposing side’s onslaught. The case concluded successfully and to my satisfaction with minimal effort on my part.

To ease the burden of the load you carry, make the decision on your legal team today. You’re in the right place – all you have to do now is make the call.

Overall a professional, great team. Everyone knew me and my case. When I left a message, I got a quick reply. Sarah made me feel comfortable going into a courtroom, where I never had been before. Both David and Sarah are very knowledgeable with legal issues. I trusted everyone and am a satisfied client.

V. Watkins

I never knew attorneys could be so accessible and kind. They fought for me all the way to the end. They had to take my case to trial and they won me a great settlement. Now I have a secure future.

 

HH, Davison

I was treated very nicely and professionally with a lot of consideration and compassion for my disabilities suffered in a horrible car accident. Mr. Christensen and Sarah Stempky made sure I understood what was happening with my case and that everything was pulled together.

LG, Stockbridge

As an accident victim I had to have my leg amputated and I was in bad shape overall. David Christensen was a light in that experience. I ended up with an entire home modification to accommodate my disabilities. It was a very stubborn insurance company but David wouldn’t take no for an answer.

CB, Milford

If I had questions or worries Dave would address them with me because he knows what he is doing. I think the world of him. I felt he went above and beyond to turn a really bad situation around. I have hope now where before I felt powerless and miniscule and that these big insurance companies were just going to railroad me.

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