WHAT EVERY TEEN DRIVER NEEDS TO KNOW
Most suburban kids can't wait until they are old enough to drive. And some parents, tired from chauffeuring their children around, feel the same way. They're excited by the prospect that they will gain some free time once their teens can drive and be more independent.
The fact is, however, that car crashes are the leading cause of death among American teens. It is almost never too early to start the conversation with your child- about the importance of being a cautious driver. But it's not enough to offer generalities. You need to be specific about the biggest causes of car accidents. It also helps to emphasize that reckless driving not only causes accidents but also creates a legal record that can harm you in the future--when you apply to college or a new job.
Here is what every teen driver needs to know:
1. Distracted driving is the cause of at least 10% of car accidents. Texting while driving is illegal--and it is dangerous. Turn off phone call notifications before you drive. Check out your route in advance--on Waze or whatever GPS method you are using--so you can follow voice commands without looking over at a map for directions. And remember that even eating and drinking while driving can be distracting. Focus on the road in front of you!
2. Speeding is responsible for almost one third of the car accidents that lead to teen deaths. Follow the legal speed limits.
3. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)--also known as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) leads to 16% of highway deaths. It is NEVER a good idea to drive after drinking or using another substance. When heading to a party always appoint a designated driver in advance.
4. Driving with other teens in the car is distracting and can lead to car accidents. Try to have no more than one other passenger in the car with you and alert that person that you want to stay focused and not be distracted with too much noice or music.
5. Night driving is a bigger challenge than daytime driving. Gain experience as a daytime driver before driving at night.
6. Using a seat belt is not only legally mandated--it is a must for safety. About 58% of teenagers who died in car accidents in 2016 were not wearing seat belts. It is NOT cool to not wear a seat belt.
7. Driver fatigue leads to fatalities. Don't drive when you're tired.
8. Pull over if you are signaled to pull over by a police officer. . And if you ever get into a car accident, stop and call the police, even if there is no apparent injury or damage. Always exchange car insurance information with the individual driving the other car.
9. Tell your parents if you are stopped by the police or get into a car accident. They can contact an experienced traffic attorney who can handle the traffic tickets or DUI charges so that there will be reduced penalties and points on your driving record.
If you or anyone in your family is charged with DUI or gets a traffic ticket and lives in Westchester or New York City, call experienced traffic lawyer Eli Moore at (914) 523-5552 or write EliMooreLaw@gmail.com for a free consultation. Learn more at EliMooreTrafficAttorney.com. Follow Eli Moore on Facebook and Twitter.
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