Public health experts, safe driving advocates and insurance representatives in the UK have expressed their concern in a letter to the BMJ over young driver safety policies and called for “a frank and open public debate” on the issue.
According to The Information Daily, government officials promised back in January of last year that they would release information on young driver safety in the spring. Subsequently, the government admitted in December 2013 that officials were still “wrestling with issues” and would not be able to publish findings.
Our car accident lawyers in Coconut Creek know auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the UK, just like they are here in the U.S. At all levels of blood-alcohol content (BAC), the risk of being in a car accident is greater for teens than for older drivers. The effects are a lot stronger for teens than for adults because teens are still growing and developing. Young people ages 15-24 represent less than 15 percent of the U.S. population. However, they account for roughly a third ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and close to 30 percent ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With prom and graduation right around the corner, it’s a critical time to remember that teen driving safety is a problem everywhere.
As parents, we want to keep them safe. And we often can. If we understand the risks teenagers face – we can help them beat the odds. How? Mostly by staying involved as they gain experience over that first year after getting their driver’s license.
The experts say there are very specific things we can do that will help keep our teens safe behind the wheel:
-Give them plenty of practice time. Sit in the car with them and supervise their driving often, both before and after they get their driver’s license. Check is periodically to make sure their skills are up to par.
-Always set a safe example. Drive in a way that you want them to drive. They learn more than you think from your habits.
-Get an agreement. Consider enacting a parent-teen contract to help lay down the expectations that you have for their driving habits.
-Know who’s in the car. Limit the number of passengers in a teen driver’s vehicle to reduce the number of distractions while driving.
-Limit distractions. Keep both hands on the wheel and your attention on your surroundings in the driver’s seat. Pull over and come to a complete stop before using a cell phone, text messaging, messing with the radio or addressing a passenger.
-Keep an eye on the speedometer. Speeding causes about 40 percent of all fatal teen accidents. That’s especially true when driving on roads with lots of traffic or with which you’re not familiar.
Don’t feel pressured to keep up with traffic if it seems like everyone else is flying by you. Driving a safe speed helps ensure your well-being, and keeps you away from costly traffic tickets
Call Freeman Injury Law in South Florida — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Proposed Regulations to Better Protect Child Passengers, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 1, 2014
Few Broward Citiations for Texting and Driving, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 21, 2014