Teenagers are more likely to be involved in an accident than any other age group. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teens. By being defensive drivers and taking note of the following fundamental safety rules when it comes to driving, we may be able to help reduce this doleful statistic.
Avoid transporting passengers.
Teenagers may find it tempting to drive their friends around – especially if they are the only one with a license – but statistics prove that driving with passengers increases the risk of an accident.
Some may argue that driving with a passenger actually decreases accidents. This has been correlated to longer trips where a passenger can help the driver stay awake and alert. However, for shorter trips, more passengers in a car correlates with higher distraction rates for the driver. Until a driver gains enough experience to deal with the distraction of passengers, it is better to drive alone or with a family member.
On a side note, teens should limit their transportation of child passengers. Young children are susceptible to serious injuries in a crash. Even a low-impact collision can change their lives forever.
Put your cell phone away.
A no-phone rule should be mandatory while driving. Distractions have become one of the most common causes of teen accidents.
Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road, and an accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Studies show that using a cell phone can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, even if you are using a hands-free device. Furthermore, teen drivers are about four times more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
Sadly, 11 teenagers die every day as a result of texting while driving. Put away the cell phone when behind the wheel, it is not worth it.
Use your headlights whenever necessary.
Headlights are important for many reasons – not just to improve your vision. They enhance your car’s visibility to others on the road. They also show you nearby hazards. You can use headlights at any time of the day to improve safety, but they are compulsory in bad weather, at dusk, at dawn and during the night.
Adhere to all traffic rules.
Travelling at a high speed makes an accident particularly dangerous, especially when a young, inexperienced driver is behind the wheel. Know the dangers of moving at high speeds, and never drive faster than the legal speed limit. Traffic rules are in place for a reason, and it is imperative that you obey them.
Take a defensive approach to driving.
Defensive driving means maintaining safe following distances, anticipating other drivers and their actions, and avoiding dangerous situations. If you practice defensive driving techniques, then the chance of an accident is much lower. Do not cut in front of other vehicles; drive defensively with safety as your main priority.
Following these tips may help reduce the likelihood of causing a preventable crash. However, nobody can control the actions of negligent motorists.
If you or your teenager was injured due to the reckless behavior of another driver in Illinois, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago accident attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. We invite you for a free over-the-phone or in-person consultation to discuss your claim. Even if we are unable to assist you, we can help set you down the right path for free. Please call (800)-985-1819 to schedule a free consultation.