AAA has launched a teen driver website specific to all 50 states in an effort to help young drivers and their parents put the emphasis on driver safety. Keys2Drive: The AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety, comes with state-specific information to help us to educate our teens and to help to reduce their risks of car accidents.
According to this customizable website, car accidents take the lives of more teens than suicide, homicide and cancer combined. Recent research from safe teen driving advocacy groups concluded that when teens ride with siblings, teenage neighbors and friends, they are at substantially higher risk risk of being involved in a car accident in Chicago or elsewhere. This is proven true even with the brightest of teens behind the wheel. One of the biggest saviors is experience, which will only come with time and practice.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys ask that parents get involved in their teen’s learning experience — especially through the long summer months. Encourage them to do things like wear their seat belt, abide by speed limits and to only drive during the daytime hours. These three characteristics have been proven to greatly reduce the risk of an accident. Talk to your teen about these safe driving rules and explain to them the responsibility of safe driving habits and the consequences of irresponsible driving.
It’s no secret that teens are at an increased risk for accidents on our roadways. Although teen drivers, those between the ages of 15- and 20-years old, only make up 7 percent of the entire licensed population in the United States, accidents that involved a teen driver made up roughly 20 percent of all of the traffic accidents. As a matter of fact, motor-vehicle accidents are the number one killer of teenagers. Based on total miles driven, teen drivers are involved in roughly three times as many deadly traffic accidents compared to any other age group.
We agree with the AAA Foundation in saying that turning your teenage driver into a safe driver in indeed a complex task. There are two major parts of this learning experience. A teen driver must learn the rules of the road and they must learn how to safely operate a vehicle. Many safe driving advocates urge that these new, young drivers participate in a driver education and training program in order to learn both aspects. It is never too early to start this learning process. A good driver education program can help your young driver to develop safe driving habits, to improve hazard recognition and explain how to manage time, space and visibility in traffic.
What can you do, as a parent, to help your teen become a safer driver?:
-Always obey road laws when your child is in the vehicle with you.
-Always wear your seat belt and encourage your young soon-to-be driver to do so as well.
-Get involved and be interactive. Talk to your kids about road signs, pedestrians and other vehicles. Explain every aspect of driving to them so they’re left with no questions or confusion.
-Ride with your teens. Illinois requires that parents and their teen drivers conduct at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice. This includes at least 10 hours of night driving. AAA recommends at least 100 hours of supervised driving time.
-Talk to them about driving during different moods or emotions. Angry or tired driving is distracted driving and increases risks for an accident.
-Although your teen may not be of legal age to drink alcohol, it doesn’t mean that they won’t. Talk to you teen about the dangers and the consequences of driving under the influence.
To get a license in Illinois, teens must complete a three-stage process that allows them to gradually gain exposure to different driving situations. This allows them to ease into driving over a period of time. Two of these steps include the instruction permit and initial driver’s license. After these steps they are eligible to receive their full driver’s license. The GDL program has been proven to better educate teen drivers.
Parents are urged to create and enact a parent-teen driving agreement as well in an attempt to set down some ground rules for driving that everyone can agree on.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
Chicago Teen Car Accidents in Focus During Safety Week June 12-18 , Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2011