“5 to Drive” Keeping Teens Safe Through Upcoming Holiday Season

Teen drivers represent less than 3 percent of the licensed drivers in Maine, but account for approximately 10 percent of those with serious crash related injuries, according to Maine’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Each and every week, more than 60 teenage drivers are injured on our state’s roadways.Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) unveiled a new safety campaign late last month, “5 to Drive.”sThis campaign raises awareness about the five critical driving habits that can help to keep our youngest drivers safe. And the campaign calls on parents’ help.

Our Portland car accident lawyers understand that car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens in Maine and elsewhere across the country. During this year’s week-long campaign, parents are asked to sit down and chat with the teen drivers in their family about these five safety tips. Your talk could wind up saving lives.

“5 to Drive”:

-Never use a cell phone or a text-messaging device in the driver’s seat.

-Keep the passengers to a minimum. Passengers are some of the most dangerous distractions.

-Obey the speed limit at all times. Adjust your driving to accommodate the current weather and traffic conditions.

-Never consume alcohol and get behind the wheel.

-Always wear your seat belt, during each and every car ride.

All of these safety tips come with solid rationale. Did you know that more than half of the teenagers who were killed in car accidents in 2011 were not wearing a seat belt when the accident happened?sAlso, speeding was a factor in close to 40 percent of all fatal teen car accidents. Overall, roughly 12 percent of teen drivers who were involved in fatal accidents were distracted when the collision occurred.

When talking with young drivers about safe habits, the process should begin when teens receive their permits and continue on during the first several years behind the wheel. However, for the first few years young people have their licenses, communications between parents and teens are often strained.

Still, parents are some of the most influential people in a teen’s driving career. You should not only sit and talk with them about safe driving tips, but you should lead by example. They learn most of their driving habits from you.

Do help to lay down your requirements of your young driver, as well as the consequences for neglecting to meet these requirements, Indiana officials are here with a parent-teen driving contract. Be sure to print this out and have all involved parties agree and sign. This will help teens to see what if expected of them behind the wheel. Stay true to this contract.

Contact the experienced injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates if you or your child has been injured in a car accident. Call 1-800-804-2004 for a consultation to speak to an attorney about your case.

More Blog Entries:

Truck Accident at Maine Railroad Cross a Reminder of Risks, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, October 1, 2013
Child Passenger Safety Week to Keep Kids Safe on the Road, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2013

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