As a parent of a Pennsylvania teenager, you likely experience a roller coaster of emotions on any given week. That's simply because living with people under age 18 can be quite challenging, even if rewarding most of the time. One of biggest challenges you'll probably undertake if you have a son or daughter age 16 or above, is teaching him or her how to drive a car. It's a much-anticipated milestone in the lives of many teens and parents alike.
You may agree with other parents who say they're delighted when their kids can drive themselves to sports practices or run to the store for milk. Knowing how dangerous state highways can be, however, you may also worry every time your child gets behind the wheel. If you provide appropriate tools and information to help your child stay as safe as possible, you will hopefully have more good days than bad, at least where driving is concerned.
Statistics you'll want to share with your child
If you plan on handing over the keys to your car to a driver under age 21, you'll want to make certain he or she is fully aware of the potential dangers associated with driving distractions. The following list provides information you can use to help keep your child safe:
- Since 2012, at least 5,000 people have died in accidents involving teenage drivers.
- Approximately 60 percent of collisions involving teenage drivers also involve distractions while driving.
- You'll want to tell your child to be especially alert and cautious from Memorial Day through the 100 days that follow since experts consider this the deadliest season on the road for young and inexperienced drivers.
- Two thirds of fatal accident victims who die in crashes involving teenage drivers are not the teens themselves.
If your child avoids distracted driving and remains on the lookout for motorists who appear focused on things other than the road, he or she may be able to avoid disaster.
Beware these deadly driving distractions and make sure your teen is, too
Not only teenagers, but all drivers, including you, can help decrease the number of collisions in Pennsylvania by adhering to traffic and safety regulations and by avoiding distracted driving. The following distractions tend to be major causes of fatal accidents involving teenage motorists:
- Reaching for things inside the car: Whether it's a radio knob or something on the floor behind the driver seat, if your child's hands are anywhere but on the wheel, he or she is at risk for injury.
- Using hand-held electronic devices: From taking selfies to post on Instagram or Facebook to sending or receiving text messages or talking on a cell phone, your son or daughter greatly increases his or her risk for collision by using hand-held electronic devices behind the wheel; besides, it's illegal to do so in this state.
- Talking to or otherwise interacting with passengers: It may seem like a minimal risk to have a conversation with another occupant in your car while driving; however, it's a distraction and one of the most frequent causes of a collision, especially where teenage motorists are concerned. Any type of interaction with passengers takes a driver's focus off the road, which is extremely dangerous.
If a distracted driver hits your child, your lives may be forever changed. Hopefully, you'll have already taught your son or daughter what to do in case of an accident. You too, may be proactive in the recovery process by pursuing justice on your child's behalf in court to seek legal accountability against any and all parties deemed responsible for the incident.