It's National Teen Safe Driving Week
Several Resources Can Help You Teach Your Teen Driver Safety
There's a great song by Crosby, Stills & Nash called Teach Your Children, and the first few lines seem really appropriate this week:
You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well…
National Teen Safe Driving Week is October 15th-21st, and it is a great opportunity to sit your newly-licensed young driver down and go over some safe driving tips with them.
Statistics show that on average, 7 drivers aged 16-19 are involved in fatal car crashes in this country every single day. According for the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), 16-year-old drivers are the most likely to be the cause of or be involved in a serious crash by more than 3 times that of older drivers. Male teen drivers are more likely to fall into that category, but all teens are in a very precarious situation when it comes to safe driving skills.
It makes sense that a driver with less experience behind the wheel would be more of a danger on the road. But there are other factors in play here, which unfortunately are all part of being a teenager:
- Teen drivers are more likely to speed and engage in other high-risk driving behavior
- Teen drivers are less apt to wear their seatbelts
- Teen drivers are more likely to be distracted while driving, like using their cell phone
- Teen drivers are more likely to be distracted by having others in the car with them
If you have a teenager in your house, it will come as no surprise that their cell phone is like an extension of their arm. It is very difficult to explain to them that driving is just not the time to use it. In fact, a recent AAA study of teenaged drivers pointed out that almost 100% of teens understand that using a phone while driving is extremely dangerous – but 35% also admitted to doing exactly that on a regular basis.
At Goldberg Noone personal injury law firm, we help those who have been victimized by the careless or negligent actions of someone else. Few things are more difficult that working with the family of a young teenaged driver who has been seriously injured in a crash, or the immeasurable grief if a young driver has been killed. We have represented many young drivers and their families who have been seriously hurt because someone else was not paying attention behind the wheel, or made a critical driver error that caused a major collision.
How to Find Safe Driving Resources
There are thankfully several sources of information and help to use in getting your newly-licensed teen driver to fully understand the importance of safe driving habits. When you first get your license, there's just so many things, large and small, that you don't know. Driving a car becomes second nature to an experienced driver, but teenagers can't be expected to know what they've never experienced.
If you live in Southwest Florida, there is an excellent organization called Stay Alive, Just Drive, also known as SAJD. The man in charge, Jay Anderson, conducts hands-on, comprehensive training for young drivers at local schools, churches and other civic organizations. His objective is to impress upon new drivers the importance of developing safe driving skills before they have a chance to pick up bad habits. The organization's website has a lot of really useful information - you can learn more about them by clicking here.
There are a number of other national organization that also offer good information on teaching your kids safe driving habits. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), has a very comprehensive website devoted to teen driver training and resources. You can find it here.
The important thing is to do something to help your kid understand the rules of the road, before it's too late.
What if My Teenager is in a Crash?
Sadly, one of the things you should teach your teenage driver is what to do if they are involved in a motor vehicle collision. If you're in a crash, it may not be possible or safe to do certain things at the crash scene, like collect other drivers' information and contact details, take pictures of the cars and the crash scene, and more. But we have written about what you should do, and your young driver should be familiar with them. When you're involved in a crash, no matter who may have caused it, you're going to be in shock. You won't be thinking clearly, and likely may not have the opportunity to do all the things you're supposed to do.
The more information you and your child know about the steps to take following a crash, the better chances you have of keeping a bad situation from getting worse.
Get Medical Attention FIRST
In Florida, there are laws that regulate how your crash injuries will be paid for by your insurance company, and they include time limits. Florida law requires that all licensed drivers carry Personal Injury Protection, or PIP coverage. (Sadly, this is the only insurance that is required under Florida law, but that's a whole other story). You'll have $10,000 in coverage for your injuries sustained in a crash – but only if you see a medical provider within 14 days following the collision.
Even if an EMT or other first responder checks you out and you feel fine at the accident scene, you may never know if there are injuries that have not emerged. You may not feel them until 1 or 2 days later. That is why it's critical to see your family physician, a walk-in medical clinic or other authorized provider quickly in order to take advantage of the PIP benefits you've been paying for all these years.
Call Us to See if You Even Need a Personal Injury Attorney
It never costs a penny to speak to a car accident lawyer at Goldberg Noone about your situation, and discuss the facts of your case. It may be that you don't even need an attorney after you're crash, and we'll be straight up with you regarding that. Your consultation is free, and we're always available to speak with you. If it's determined that you in fact do need our help and retain our firm to aggressively stand up for your legal rights, you'll never pay us any money up front or out of your pocket. We earn our fee from any financial settlement we obtain from the insurance company, or from a jury verdict if we end up going to trial.
You can reach our Downtown Fort Myers Office at 239-461-5508 or simply fill out this quick form, and one of our auto accident lawyers will contact you immediately.
So, let's all heed the sage advice of Crosby, Stills & Nash, and teach our children. Your early efforts may just end up saving a young life.