Earlier this month, two 17-year-old Texas teens were involved in a fatal collision when the red Mazda Speed 3 they were traveling in rolled over. There were seven people in the vehicle, five of which suffered injuries that were considered minor to critical. According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, there were just five seatbelts available in the vehicle which means two passengers were left unbelted.
The Ft. Worth car accident lawyers at Anderson Cummings know that driving with too many passengers is just one of many dangers teen drivers face. Parents need to become informed about the many dangerous behaviors teens engage in when they’re behind the wheel. By knowing what their teen is more likely to do while driving they can begin a conversation about safe driving habits and techniques.
If your child has been injured in a car accident contact a leading personal injury attorney in Fort Worth near you today for a free consultation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has several resources available for parents who wish to speak with their children about safe driving.
In the 5 to Drive campaign, the NHTSA addresses the risk of driving with extra passengers and other common teen driving habits.
- Using a cellphone and texting. Approximately 75 percent of teens say they have texted while driving, which increases the risk of an accident by 23 times. About 12 percent of teen motor vehicle fatalities were caused by cell phone use.
- Teen passengers. According to the CDC the presence of teen passengers increases the risk of a crash, many states only permit teen drivers to have 1-2 passengers in the vehicle with them.
- Speeding. In 2011, speeding caused about 35 percent of all fatal crashes that teens were involved in. Among male drivers under the age of 20 that were involved in fatal crashes in 2010, 39 percent were speeding at the time of the accident.
- Wearing a seatbelt. Compared to all other age groups, teens are the least likely to use a seatbelt. In 2011, only 54 percent of high school students said they wore a seat belt while riding as a passenger.
- Driving under the influence. In 2011, there were more than 500 deaths involved teen drivers who were under the influence.
Parents should use the information from NHTSA to talk to their teens about these important issues. Some evidence indicates that kids with involved parents tend to be involved in fewer auto accidents than their counterparts.