When teens receive their driver’s license, they’re expected to obey the law, as well as practice caution and responsibility at all times when they are behind the wheel. Unfortunately, teens may be engaging in some avoidable behaviors that could result in them being injured, or even killed, in a car accident.

Texting While Driving

CAR WRECK IN FRONT OF THE STUDIO, THURSDAY MORNING, 29 JANUARY 2009Technology is extremely popular with teens today, and it allows them to stay in touch with their friends throughout the day. Unfortunately, according to a recent survey, over 40 percent of teens have acknowledged texting while driving.

Texting has been shown to kill more teens than drinking while driving. Because teens constantly have their mobile devices with them, it’s all the more tempting for them to check for texts and emails when behind the wheel of a car.

In some states, like North Carolina, it’s illegal for teens under 18 to use a cell phone while driving. But all too often teen drivers aren’t listening. To help curb accidents caused by texting behind the wheel,  Auger and Auger suggests that parents sit down with their kids and reinforce the rules, both state law and parental guidelines.

Excessive Speed

Because teens are young, they think that they are invincible. Teen speeding is often overlooked when parents talk to them about driver safety. Drinking, distracted driving and texting all have taken precedence, but you’ll find that speed can be just as deadly a factor in teen driving. Approximately one third of all fatal accidents involved teen drivers. Among the fatal vehicle crashes involving 16 year old teens with 2 or more passengers in the car, speed was the contributor the majority of the time.

Distracted Driving

Cell phone usage, talking to other passengers, eating, drinking, adjusting the car stereo and grooming were the primary causes of distracted driving accidents among teens. Few teens fail to realize that by taking their eyes off the road for a fraction of a second, they could cause a serious or fatal accident. In addition to injuring themselves, they could harm other passengers and innocent victims on the roadway.

Drinking and Driving

In order to navigate the road safely, teens should be focused and capable of making decisions based on what’s happening around them. Drinking is a serious issue that can impair young drivers and how they handle their vehicle. Unfortunately, few realize this significance until it’s too late. Teenagers may think drinking is cool, but drinking and getting behind the wheel is a form of negligence, the cause of over 40 percent of traffic fatalities across the nation.

Ignoring Seat Belts

State laws are in place to promote seat belt usage, but many teens fail to realize the importance. Most feel that strapping in isn’t cool, and that their vehicle’s air safety bags will prevent them from getting hurt or killed. However, in the majority of teen crashes, the victims who were killed or seriously injured were found not to have been wearing the proper safety belts at the time of the crash.

Before your teen gets behind the wheel of a car, they need to be aware of the consequences of poor judgment. They won’t get a do-over, and killing or injuring a friend, loved one or innocent victim will affect them professionally, physically and mentally for the rest of their lives.


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