Teens have a tendency to test boundaries and break the rules, but when they do so while driving there can be deadly consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016 2,433 teens between the ages of 16-19 died in motor vehicle accidents. In addition, 292,742 teens were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. This means that every day 6 teens die and hundreds more are injured. Teen drivers are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than drivers over the age of 20.
It is clear that teens have bad driving habits that are leading to tragic consequences. Inexperience and immaturity may be a primary cause of dangerous driving by teens. However, a recent report shows that teens may be picking up their bad driving habits by watching their parents.
A report from insurance company Liberty Mutual found that parents’ bad driving habits have an effect on their teens. The report surveyed teens and their parents to measure teen driving attitudes and behaviors. It was found that while parents often set ground rules for teen drivers, they often break these rules themselves in the teen’s presence.
Parents ask their teens not to text and drive and yet 20% of parents admitted to texting behind the wheel. This number may be even higher given that 30% of the teens surveyed stated that they had seen their parents text and drive. Parents admitted to other risky behaviors such as speeding, driving when drowsy, multi-tasking, and taking selfies. The rates for teens committing these risky behaviors were comparable.
The report also found that 37% of parents admit to not instituting any discipline when their teen breaks a rule, or even a law, with regard to driving. A third of these parents stated that they don’t discipline their teens because it is hard to monitor what they’re doing when they’re on the road.
Encouraging Safe Driving Behavior
Parents can help ensure their teens practice safe driving behavior by setting a good example behind the wheel. The fact that parents have more driving experience does not mean they have the right to practice unsafe driving habits. In addition, it is crucial for parents to set rules for their teens when it comes to driving and to make sure that these rules are consistently enforced. Speaking with children, even at a young age, about safe driving can also help encourage safe practices.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or your teen have been seriously injured in a car accident, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.