According to the Centers for Disease Control Injury Center, nearly 225,000
teens were injured or killed in driving accidents in 2015 alone. Teens
between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk for a crash because
of their lack of experience. However, there are steps you can take as
a teen driver to help you stay safe and avoid an accident.
These are 3 broad categories to consider that can increase your safety.
- Common sense guidelines
- Things to beware
- Defensive driving habits
Common Sense Guidelines
There are some common sense guidelines to follow that can help increase
your safety. One is to always wear a seatbelt. Statistics from 2015 reported
that only about 60% of all high school students regularly wore a seatbelt
while driving. Seatbelts can keep you from slamming through the windshield
in an accident, and can hold you in place during a crash. Thus, it is
important to always wear your seatbelt while driving, and to require your
passengers to wear one as well.
Another common sense guideline is to always obey traffic laws. While some
drivers may think they can roll through a stop sign, make lane changes
without using a signal, or cut off other drivers with no consequences,
these actions can cause an accident. It is important to obey the laws
of the road and to pay attention to the actions of other drivers. Speeding,
driving erratically, and disobeying traffic signs and signals endangers
everyone on the road, including pedestrians. Traffic rules are there for
a reason. They help protect you and keep the road functioning in a safe
and organized manner. Thus, it is important to obey them at all times.
Furthermore, a common sense guideline that many people might not think
about is to adjust the mirrors before driving. Not having the mirrors
properly adjusted before starting to drive can cause you to take your
focus off the road in an effort to fix the mirrors later on. Properly
adjusted mirrors are important. They can help you see other cars and objects
that pose a threat to your vehicle, as well as increase your comfort behind
the wheel. By making sure all fixtures on your car, including your steering
wheel, air conditioner, radio, seat, and mirrors, are adjusted to your
comfort before taking off, you can help avoid an accident further down the road.
Things to Beware
Statistics show that nearly half of all accidents involving teen drivers
in 2014 occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight. Night driving
is more difficult than driving during the day because you cannot see the
road and other vehicles as well. Furthermore, bright headlights from oncoming
cars can shine in your eyes and make it hard to see the road. Especially
if there are not enough streetlights or illumination for the road, it
can be hard to distinguish lane lines, causing you to drift across lanes
and threaten the safety of other drivers. Night driving takes experience.
Thus, young drivers should be discouraged from driving at night without
You should also beware of distractions. These could include passengers,
phones, radio or A/C controls, and mental distractions. Taking your hands
off the wheel for any reason can increase the risk of an accident. Furthermore,
becoming mentally distracted by emotional thoughts or discussions with
passengers can result in an accident. It is important to limit physical
and mental distractions so you can focus on the road. This can help keep
you and your passengers safe.
Finally, you should beware of drinking alcohol before driving. Sadly, more
than 13,000 people die every year from drunk driving accidents. While
the legal limit is set at 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), even
just one small drink can impair your ability to drive effectively.
The effects of alcohol include:
- Inability to concentrate
- Slowed reaction times
- Impaired judgment and decision-making abilities
- Decreased muscle coordination
- Impaired perception
Those who attempt to drive under the influence of alcohol may speed, weave
between lanes, swerve into oncoming traffic, and fail to follow basic
traffic rules. This can greatly increase the chances of being involved
in a crash. It is important to never drink and drive. If you are drinking
at a party, have someone in your group be the designated driver, take
an Uber, or have your parents pick you up. This may save your life and
keep others safe as well.
Defensive Driving Habits
Defensive driving involves a number of habits that can increase your safety.
You should scan the road for obstacles, use your signals correctly before
a turn, and anticipate the actions of other drivers. It is also important
to be aware of your surroundings, maintain a safe speed, and avoid distractions
at all times. By following these tips, you can decrease your chances of
A Tip for Parents
Parents can help their teenage drivers be safe by setting good examples.
It is important to talk with your son or daughter and provide instructions
on how to stay safe on the road. Encourage your children to avoid going
to parties where drinking and drug use are prevalent, and to practice
safe driving habits to help avoid an accident.
Having a license does not mean your teenage driver is completely competent
in every situation on the road. Talk through scenarios, provide practical
safety tips, and set a positive example in the way you drive as well.
This reinforcement can help prepare and protect your teenager.
Call Our Greenville Personal Injury Lawyers Today at (864) 408-8890
Christian & Davis LLC passionately represents clients injured in car
crashes. Whatever your situation, we can discuss your options for pursing
compensation. Our firm has successfully guided hundreds of clients through
the legal system, and we have more than 95 years of combined legal experience.
We can answer your questions and provide informative assistance from start
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident,
contact our Greenville car accident attorneys today for a free consultation.