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National Teen Driver Safety Week: Keeping Your Teen Safe Behind the Wheel

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This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched its National Teen Driver Safety Week campaign to raise awareness about car accidents involving young motorists.

Because auto accidents are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in America, it becomes crucial to educate teens and parents about making auto safety a priority and addressing some of the common causes of teen driver car accidents.

Below are some of the safety issues covered by the campaign:

  • Distracted Driving - Distracted driving is a major concern for teenage drivers, and numerous studies have found that a large percentage of teens engage in some form of distraction behind the wheel - often cell phone use, text messaging, or talking to other passengers. Because distracted driving causes thousands of injuries and deaths each year, Texas has banned cell phone use and texting for all novice drivers. Parents should also make sure they discuss the dangers of distracted driving openly with their teens and the laws in place.
  • Speeding & Reckless Driving - Teenage drivers, or at least some, may be prone to taking more risks when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, they may not always realize their actions can have serious and life-altering consequences. Make sure teens understand speed limits in place, the rules of the road, and the importance of safely sharing the road with other motorists.
  • Drunk Driving - Driving under the influence is a problem for drivers of all ages, but teen drivers may be more susceptible as they simply don’t have the experience with drinking or with driving that other older motorists may have, and because they may make split decisions that have a lifetime of consequences. To address this, be open with your teens about drinking and driving and why it should simply never happen.

Car accidents happen all the time, and for a lot of different reasons. When these accidents are caused by negligence or wrongful acts, however, drivers can be held fully accountable for the damages they case - either civilly, criminally, or both. To protect teen drivers from making life-changing mistakes, safety experts encourage parents to speak candidly with their children and to clearly establish rules - rules like never driving distracted, never driving drunk, and never speeding.

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