Parents focus on helping teens avoid Chicago car accidents as homecoming and holiday seasons begin

The USA Today reports that parents are increasingly turning toward the low-tech teen-driving contract amid the decidedly high-tech world faced by teen drivers.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys recently reported on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog that the State of Illinois is debuting a new website aimed at helping parents keep their teen drivers safe behind the wheel.Tougher laws and better training have led to a 50 percent reduction in fatal Illinois car accidents involving teenagers in recent years, from 146 in 2007 to 71 last year. However, car accidents remain the leading cause of death among teenagers nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office offers a Teen Safe Driving Contract here. Similar contracts are offered through AAA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such contracts have several things in common, including a modification of restrictions as drivers gain experience and demonstrate responsibility, and clearly defined penalties for violations.

“It’s a way for parents and teens to engage with each other and agree on what the consequences are,” Arlene Greenspan, of the CDC’s Injury Center, told the USAToday. “Writing it down clarifies for everybody what the rules are.”

Some automobile insurers also offer discounts for parents and teenagers who sign contracts.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 6,107 drivers ages 15 to 19 were injured in accidents last year. When the occupants of young drivers are included, more than 10,000 people were hurt in traffic crashes — or about 1 in every 8 injuries.

Statistics show the homecoming season and the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are among the most dangerous on the road for young drivers. The increased risk also coincides with the start of winter driving season. We encourage you to spend some extra time with your teen drivers to talk about the expectations and responsibilities associated with climbing behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago injury lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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