Despite improvements in car safety over the past few years, motor vehicle crashes remain the primary cause of death for adolescents. In fact, teen drivers aged 16 to 19 are involved in over 4 times the rate of fatal car accidents as adult drivers aged 25 to 69. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers are involved in over 3,200 fatal motor vehicle crashes per year. Starting in 2007, we recognize National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) every year in the third week of October. This year’s NTDSW takes place October 20-26.
History of National Teen Driver Safety Week
In 2007, following a series of tragic and fatal crashes involving high school students, Congress introduces a resolution to create National Teen Driver Safety Week. Over the years, researchers have strived to discover which factors make accidents more prevalent among teen drivers. Many factors, including risks of distracted driving, fatigued driving, speeding, cell phone use, and driving with multiple teen passengers put teenagers at risk of an accident. The majority of crashes involving young drivers are caused by inexperience and driver error.
Car Accident Prevention
Car accident prevention efforts have proven that there are three critical errors newly licensed teen drivers make that lead to serious crashes. The three most critical errors teens make include a lack of scanning to detect and respond to hazards, driving too fast for the road conditions, and being distracted by someone inside or outside of the vehicle.
Additional factors that cause teen accidents are due to teens having underdeveloped scanning skills, meaning new drivers often detect a hazard later than experienced drivers. Nearly all crashes are preventable. Parents who set rules and pay attention to their teen’s activities in a helpful and supportive way are half as likely to crash. Ultimately, inexperience is a major factor in why teens crash.
How to Help Teens
National Teen Driver Safety Week is a platform to create positive change. Thanks to NTDSW, there has been increased discussion, debate, and implementation of safer driving practices for teens. While “scared straight” programs used to be the norm for trying to reach young people, they have proven to be ineffective, overwhelming, and can cause teens to shit down. Research shows that teens understand that they are vulnerable and are well aware of many potential risks. Focusing on positive actions that teens can take to be safe and keep friends safe is far more effective.
What You Can Do
The best thing you can do to assist National Teen Driver Safety Week is to spread awareness. Get the conversation started about safe driving behaviors during NTDSW in your community, school, or workplace. Get involved by sharing messages with others during National Teen Driver Safety Week. The Ocala personal injury attorneys at Allen Law Firm have made it their mission to help spread awareness of safe teen driving practices. For more information on what you can do to spread awareness, contact the Ocala personal injury attorneys at Allen Law Firm today. Allen Law Firm’s team of personal injury lawyers are trained professionals there to make sure that justice is done.