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Tips To Protect Your Teen Drivers This Summer

A teen boy sits in the driver's seat of a car while his dad hands over the key to the car from the passenger seat.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety coined the term "100 Deadliest Days," referring to the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During this period, over 30% of deaths from car accidents involving teen drivers occur. Nationally, an average of 2,390 deaths involving teen drivers occur each year across the United States, with 744 of those occurring during these 100 Deadliest Days.

To help mitigate this risk, both teen drivers and parents need to be aware of the dangers on Texas roads, especially for younger, inexperienced motorists. The attorneys at The Herrera Law Firm shed light on the common causes of teen driver car accidents and how parents can get involved to prevent tragedies on the road.

What are the most common causes of car accidents involving teen drivers?

Most car accidents involving teen drivers are linked to:

Distracted Driving

Teen drivers are particularly prone to distractions such as talking, texting, and using smartphones while driving. These distractions can significantly reduce their reaction time and attention to the road, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Exceeding Speed Limits or Driving Too Fast for Road Conditions

Teens may lack the judgment to understand the dangers of speeding, whether in normal conditions or adverse weather. Speeding reduces their ability to react to sudden changes in traffic and increases the severity of collisions.

Lack of Driving Experience and Poor Decision-Making

Teen drivers have less experience behind the wheel, which can lead to poor decision-making in critical situations. This lack of experience makes it difficult for them to anticipate and respond appropriately to road hazards.

Presence of Teenage Passengers and Peer Pressure

Having other teens in the car can be a significant distraction and lead to risky behavior due to peer pressure. Teen passengers may encourage the driver to take unnecessary risks, such as speeding or showing off.

Reduced Visibility and Increased Fatigue During Night Hours

Teens may struggle with driving at night due to reduced visibility and fatigue. Night driving requires more focus and experience, which many teens lack, making accidents more likely.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Despite legal restrictions, some teens may experiment with alcohol or drugs and then decide to drive. Impaired driving significantly reduces their coordination, reaction time, and judgment, leading to dangerous situations.

Engaging in Risky Driving Behaviors Such as Tailgating or Aggressive Driving

Teens may underestimate the dangers of aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating, weaving through traffic, and road rage. These actions increase the risk of collisions and endanger everyone on the road.

Not Wearing Seatbelts

Teens may neglect to wear seatbelts, either due to forgetfulness or a belief that they are unnecessary. Not wearing a seatbelt greatly increases the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.

Overestimating Driving Skills and Underestimating Road Hazards

Teen drivers often have a sense of invincibility and may overestimate their driving abilities while underestimating potential road hazards. This overconfidence can lead to taking unnecessary risks and being unprepared for sudden dangers.

6 tips to keep teens safe this summer

Summer often brings a rise in crashes involving teenage drivers, with Texas already leading the nation in fatal crashes. If you're a parent of a teen driver, below are some important tips to help keep them safe on the road this summer.

1. Encourage them to buckle up every time

Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries. Ensure that your child and any passengers in their vehicle wear a seatbelt. Make it a rule that no trip starts without everyone buckled up.

2. Remind them to obey the speed limit

Speeding remains a critical safety issue for teen drivers. Consistent monitoring and communication about the dangers of speeding can help reduce this risky behavior. As a parent, set a good example by obeying speed limits and discussing the importance of safe driving with your teen.

3. Restrict nighttime driving

Limiting nighttime driving can significantly reduce the chances of your child being involved in a crash. Establish a curfew and ensure your teen consistently adheres to it.

4. Teach them never to drive impaired

Explain to your teen the importance of never driving impaired or getting into a car with someone who is. Encourage them to have a safe plan to get home if they find themselves in a situation involving substance use.

5. Stay focused and avoid distractions

Teach your teen driver to plan ahead and maintain their full attention on the road. They should keep their eyes forward and both hands on the wheel. Even a second of distraction can lead to a fatal accident.

6. Encourage your teen to limit passengers

Passengers under 21 can significantly increase a teen driver's risk of being in a collision. Advise your teen to keep distractions to a minimum and always focus on the road.

If you've been injured, our attorneys are here to help

Car accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities. If a crash caused by someone else has impacted you or your loved one, you may be eligible for financial compensation. The Herrera Law Firm in San Antonio can help you recover compensation for your damages, including medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Our experienced attorneys can take on the insurance companies and handle every aspect of your case so you can concentrate on healing. Don’t face this battle alone—contact us today for a free consultation. We'll provide honest answers to any questions you have and help outline your case moving forward.

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