Keeping Teen Drivers Safe Behind the Wheel


Keeping Teen Drivers Safe Behind the Wheel

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento auto accident lawyer. Teen drivers experience a proportionally high number of traumatic injuries and deaths in motor vehicle accidents. Overall, more teenagers die due to such accidents than from any other cause. While teenagers comprise less than 10 percent of the population in this country, such accidents account for over $10 billion in medical expenses due to car crashes. While the odds are frightening, there are things parents can do to help teens stay safe.

Installing a GPS Device

Young drivers are inexperienced and more prone to taking risks than most older drivers. Parents can monitor a teen’s driving by installing a device that attaches to the vehicle’s diagnostic port. By using GPS, the device can provide parents with the speed the vehicle is traveling, its braking pattern, acceleration and its location. There are various models available, so checking what each system offers is necessary. With some, a parent can set a boundary and is notified when the vehicle goes outside that geographic area. Some provide driving histories. More advanced systems will alert a parent to the ignition being turned on and off, low battery power, if the vehicle is being towed or if the device is removed from the port.

My Key

This Ford product helps to keep teens safe in a different way. For example, many teens are lax about putting on seat belts behind the wheel of the car. My Key does not allow them to turn on the radio unless the seat belt has been fastened first. Parents can also set the speed at which the vehicle can go to ensure the teen will not be speeding. Radio stations can also be blocked.

Phone Apps

Teens are more apt to talk on their cell phones while driving or text friends, and this is a dangerous form of distracted driving. However, since most parents want their teens to take along their cell phone in the case of an accident, there are apps available that can lessen the risks. These apps, available from some major cell phone providers, block texting while the teenager is driving, and send out an automatic message that the driver is not available. The response can be customized. Incoming calls can also be limited to a few people. Some of these apps have to be turned on when the teen gets in the car. Others turn on automatically.

Consumer Report Recommendations for Teen Drivers

Consumer Reports says that taking a course of driver’s training isn’t sufficient to keep teenagers safe on the road. It recommends advanced driving programs so that teenagers will be able to respond correctly in emergency situations. Since parents frequently purchase an older vehicle for their teens to drive, some of the more modern safety features may not be present. It recommends looking for a vehicle with side air bags and electronic stability control. Consumer Reports offers a list of used vehicles that it recommends for teenage drivers.

Fatality Rate for Teenage Drivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatality rate for drivers aged 16 to 19 is three times higher than for those over the age of 20. This is despite the fact that teen drivers are actually behind the wheel of a car less than even the oldest drivers. The rate of crashes is highest for those who are 16 or 17 at almost twice the rate of 18 and 19-year-olds. Trends show a decreasing number of motor vehicle deaths for teenagers (2,820 in 2016 between the ages of 13 and 18).

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Motor vehicle accidents are traumatic experiences but worse when it happens to your teenager. When you need help to obtain fair compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advise. You can reach me online if that is easier for you.

Since the early 1980s, I’ve been here for Sacramento residents, handling personal injury cases including wrongful death claims and traumatic brain injuries.

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