Do You Know the Top Dangers for Teen Drivers?
Are your teens preparing to return to face-to-face instruction in Clark County? If they are, that might mean they are getting behind the wheel. Teen drivers should take special care when getting in the driver’s seat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In Nevada, 169 young drivers (ages 15-20) lost their lives in crashes between 2015 – 2019. Below we will provide the top dangers for teen drivers and tips to help your teen drive safely. As you review these dangers with your teen, remember that the dangers are preventable or practice areas that can be worked on.
We hope the below tips help your teen stay safe on the roads. If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will help to protect your rights and ensure you receive maximum compensation. Anthem Injury Lawyers has a dedicated team of lawyers and staff ready to help you with your car accident case. Insurance companies are not motivated to pay you significant compensation. You need an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer to fight for your rights. Our car accident lawyers offer decades of experience, which will position you to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
Not Wearing a Seat Belt
In Nevada, both driver and passenger are required to wear a seat belt. Unfortunately, teens buckle up far less frequently than adults do. Why is this dangerous? Consider the following seat belt facts from the CDC:
- More than half of teens (13 to 19 years) who died in crashes in 2018 were not buckled up at the time of the crash.
- Most drivers and passengers killed in crashes are unrestrained.
- Seat belts dramatically reduce risk of death and serious injury.
- Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash.
- Seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.
Encourage Your Teen to Buckle Up
How can you encourage your teen to buckle up? Make sure that the first thing you and your teen do when you get in the car is put on your seat belt. Your teen will be more likely to wear a seat belt if it is a habit. Parents play a major role in teen driver safety. Before your teen begins driving, have clear expectations and guidelines about seat belt use. This includes seat belt use for both your teen driver and their passengers. You should also remind your teen to correctly wear their seat belt. This means wearing both the lap and shoulder belt. Never put a shoulder belt behind anyone’s arm or back.
Drugs and Alcohol
Teens are at far greater risk of death in an alcohol-related crash than the overall population. Alcohol and teen driving is a deadly combination. In 2016, nearly 20 percent of teenagers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. Alcohol isn’t the only dangerous substance for young drivers. Almost any drug can impact their ability to safely drive. This includes illegal drugs as well as medication.
Alcohol and drugs do not mix with driving. It may not be possible to prevent your teen from experimenting with drugs or alcohol. However, you should encourage a zero tolerance policy when it comes to driving. This means that if your teen uses any amount of alcohol or drugs, they should not drive. Additionally, your teen should not ride with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs. Discuss this policy with your teen. Have clear expectations. Make a plan with your teen for what they should do in a situation involving drugs or alcohol.
As teens get older they tend to get less nightly sleep. Did you know that teen drivers who sleep less than 8 hours a night are 33 percent more likely to crash than teens who get more than 8 hours of sleep? How does fatigue from a lack of sleep dramatically impact a teen’s driving ability? Fatigue reduces a person’s ability to do the following:
- Process information
- Be attentive
- Have good reflexes
All of these skills are essential to being a safe and attentive driver.
Help Your Teen Sleep More
How can you help your teen get more sleep? Encourage healthy sleep habits and do the following:
- Help your teen set a bedtime and bedtime routine. A quiet, calming routine can help them sleep.
- Have your teen turn off their electronics before bedtime. Ideally, 30 minutes to an hour before it is time to sleep.
- Encourage your teen to be active during the day. Exercise helps with sleep patterns.
- Get natural light. Getting natural light, especially in the morning, also helps to regulate the sleep schedule. Las Vegas is a great city for natural light. In the morning, encourage your teen to eat a healthy breakfast in front of the window.
Distracted driving is anything that takes your teen’s attention away from the task of safe driving. Distracted driving greatly increases your teen’s chances of a crash. There are three main types of distraction:
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it is a cognitive, visual, and manual distraction.
Encourage Your Teen to Focus on the Road
Take the following steps to encourage your teen to focus on the road and avoid distracted driving:
- Be the example. Do not use your phone while driving.
- Talk to your teen. Discuss the dangers of distracted driving with your teen.
- Work with your teen to keep their focus on the road. You can practice with your teen while the car is parked. While parked, encourage your teen to do various tasks in the car. Time your teen on how long each task takes their focus off the “road.” Coach them to keep their focus on the road.
Driving is a skill. Inexperienced drivers are at a greater risk for being involved in a crash and receiving traffic citations.
Drive With Your Teen
The only way to get better at driving is experience. Work with your teen on safe driving behaviors. Even after your teen gets their license, continue to ride with them and encourage safe driving. Practice driving skills in a variety of situations to get them comfortable and give them experience.
Night driving, especially on the weekends, is a dangerous time for teens. According to the CDC, in 2018:
- 37 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths among teen drivers and passengers aged 13 to 19 occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- 52 percent occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
Abide by the Driving Curfew
There is a statewide driving curfew in Nevada. This curfew is meant to protect young drivers. In Nevada, a driver under 18 may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. An exception exists for a driver traveling to or from a scheduled event. This may include school events or work. Keep your teen safe and make sure they abide by the curfew.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
We hope these tips help your teens stay safe on the roads. The law firm of Anthem Injury Lawyers understands that even the most cautious driver can be injured in a car accident. If another driver has injured you or a loved one, it’s important that you seek experienced legal representation. This is vital because without the experience that a top car accident lawyer brings to the table, you can be at a disadvantage when it comes to winning the compensation you deserve. Our car accident lawyers serve the Las Vegas area with the knowledge and expertise to help you gain maximum compensation for your injuries.
With over 25 years of experience, award-winning Anthem Injury Lawyers specialize in personal injury claims. If you cannot visit our Las Vegas area office, we can come to you to discuss your car accident case. Now is the best time to schedule your appointment with us to discuss the details about your Las Vegas area car accident. Don’t delay: give yourself the advantage of time spent with our expert legal team so we can pursue maximum compensation for your car accident injuries. There’s no obligation: have our car accident lawyers examine the facts and learn about your case. See why our Las Vegas lawyers give you the best opportunity to win significant compensation. Call our personal injury lawyers now at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.