According to the National Center for Health Statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death among 15 to 20 year olds. Additionally, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reported that in 2012, a total of 2,823 teenagers aged 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes. In order to help reduce the number of teenage motor vehicle crashes on the road, there are a few things that parents and guardians should consider before letting their loved one operate a motor vehicle.

  • Set an example
    • Teens often look to their parents or guardians as an example of how they should act, so it’s important that these individuals practice safe driving behaviors at all times.
  • Have a conversation about best practices in safe driving
    • Prior to driving, consult with your loved one about the dangers of operating a motor vehicle and remind them of best practices when behind the wheel, such as wearing a seatbelt at all times and keeping two hands on the wheel. It’s important that both parties are on the same page as far as safety behind the wheel and other driving expectations.
  • Allow for a safe form of transportation
    • Make sure that the vehicle your teen is using is safe and fully operational. This includes checking to be sure that the vehicle is in working order, as well as making sure that the vehicle itself has high safety ratings and important safety technology and crash protection in case an accident were to occur.
  • Ditch the devices while driving
    • According to Illinois traffic laws, the use of a cellular device while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited. In addition, using these devices while driving is also a very dangerous safety hazard to everyone on the road. In order to avoid these hazards, it's important that teens put away their mobile devices while operating a vehicle.
  • Set limitations
    • Create an understanding of how many individuals your teen is allowed to have in the car, or how late they can stay out driving. Setting rules and limitations clarifies your expectations for the teen and helps keep their safety in check while operating a motor vehicle.

Having these types of conversations and establishing good driving habits with your teen is vital to their safety on the road. These tips won't automatically prevent car accidents from occurring, but utilizing them will help create a much safer driving atmosphere for your teen. Know that the auto accident lawyers at Lipkin & Apter are here in case an unfortunate circumstance was to occur.