ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / August 15, 2019 / The school year is revving up, meaning there will be many more cars and teenage drivers hitting the road after the summer lull. While the school year will certainly bring with it new opportunities to learn, it is important that parents take this time to reinforce lessons learned about driving safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, more than 2,430 U.S. teens (ages 16-19) were killed and 292,742 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. Additionally, in that same year, young adults ages 15-19 accounted for an estimated $13.6 billion (8.4%) of the total costs resulting from motor vehicle injuries.
As a leading automotive insurance company, AssuranceAmerica knows all too well the devastation and challenges resulting from auto accidents. The company is there to help its policyholders recover after an accident but preventing crashes in the first place is key. With more young drivers hitting the roads and going back to school, here are three ways you can help keep your family in the safe lane.
Focus on the Dangers of Distractions. By now we should all know the immense risks we take when driving distracted. But the impact of this common driving mistake is so grave it bears repeating…and repeating. Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found that dialing a phone number while driving can increase a teen's risk of crashing by six times, and texting increases that risk 23 fold. While you can’t always be in the car with your teen, you can help them stay focused. Today many smartphones have a feature that allows you to put it into “do not disturb” mode while driving. Consider implementing this as a rule of driving for your family members and set consequences for distracted driving. With or without technological assistance, always remind and talk to your family about the importance of alert, distraction-free driving.
Remember the Basics: Buckle Up. We would hope that anyone getting in a car would routinely buckle their seat belts. Yet, seat belt usage is lowest among teen drivers. Forgetfulness or feelings of invincibility can lead teens to ignore this essential safety precaution. Buckling up is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others in a vehicle. Remind your teen of its importance and that its ok and necessary to demand that anyone riding in the car with them wear them too. Don’t underestimate the importance of the example you set…make sure you always wear your seat belt as well. Your example carries more power than your words.
Practice Pedestrian Safety. According to the NHTSA, in 2017, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes by a car. School bells bring with them a flood of students walking home in the streets. While you may not be able to walk your child to and from school each day, pedestrian safety tips can be a useful companion. Remember electronic devices can be just as distracting while walking as when driving. Remind your child to stay alert, put the device down, and always double check both ways before crossing the street. While it can be tempting to take short cuts, plot a path to school with your kids that stays on well-lit sidewalks and avoids busy intersections. Also, remind teen drivers to be on the lookout for children who may dash across the street and to be extra careful in parking lots and near driveways.
The start of a new school year is an exciting time and can lead to an enriching year. By kicking it off with a tune up on driving and pedestrian safety, you can make sure your family is ready for the road ahead.
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