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5 Teen Driving Safety Tips

Teenagers throughout the country look forward to obtaining their driver’s license and earning the freedom to be independently mobile. Unfortunately, car accidents are the second-leading cause of death among U.S. teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 2,375 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 years old were killed in traffic collisions in 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said approximately 297,000 teenage drivers were injured in 2018. 

Since teenagers generally do not have the same driving experience and education compared to their older counterparts, they do not often drive defensively. Additionally, they tend to speed, get easily distracted, fail to consistently check their surroundings, and engage in drunk or drowsy driving. 

If you are a teen driver or a parent of one, the following are safety tips to help yourself or your child avoid being involved in a serious crash according to Bankrate:

  1. Avoid using smartphones – Whether you need to call or text someone, or use an app such as Google Maps or Spotify during a trip, cellphones are one of the most common types of distractions while driving. Using your smartphone on the road can take your hands away from the steering wheel, your eyes away from the road, and your attention away from the main task of safely operating your vehicle. Parents must ensure their teenagers never use their cellphones when driving or even install restrictions to prevent their children from using them. 

  1. Limit interaction with passengers – Another common distraction is other occupants in the vehicle. Studies indicate that teen drivers with passengers are 30 percent more likely to be involved in an accident. Teen drivers should avoid getting involved in an engaging conversation while driving, as well as limit the number of occupants or drive solo. 

  1. Teach teens about their vehicle – Parents should help their teenagers familiarize themselves with important vehicle controls and features, so they can be comfortable using them. Show them where the turn signals are located, how to adjust their mirrors and seats, where their hazard lights and windshield wipers are located, and other vital functions. 

  1. Choose a safer vehicle – Most teens drive older-model vehicles that are either handed down or bought used. However, these cars do not possess the latest safety technology to increase their ability to avoid a collision. In addition, teens may also opt for larger vehicles because they provide more protection. 

  1. Enroll in defensive driving courses – Teens can expand their driving knowledge by participating in a state-approved program that includes both in-class and behind-the-wheel training to improve their skills and prepare them for real-life situations. Online courses are available as well. 

If you have been injured in a car accident in Colorado or Eastern Utah, contact Doehling Law today at (970) 292-7171 for a free consultation. We have offices in Grand Junction, Montrose, Crested Butte, Aspen, and Glenwood Springs.

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