In honor of National Teen Driver Safety Week, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched their “5 to Drive” campaign. This campaign is working to help to get parents talking with the teen drivers in their lives about the top risks that contribute to teen driver fatalities.
Car accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for teens across the country. And with your help, we can work to prevent these catastrophic, and preventable, tragedies. Read on and find out what you can do to help your teen stay safe on the road through the long holiday driving season.
Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that the state of Massachusetts currently pushes its Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program to help to keep teen drivers safe. This program allows young drivers to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges. The state of Massachusetts currently deploys a three-stage system with various restrictions on each stage to ensure that teens are getting the proper driving education.
According to Safe Roads 4 Teens, there were close to 50 people killed in car accidents that involved a teen driver in the state of Massachusetts in 2011. National evaluations have proven the effectiveness of GDL on improving young driver safety with a variety of crash rates reduced from 9 percent to 69 percent.
The “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to discuss with their teens one safety topic each day for a week. The “5 to Drive” campaign topics are:
-Keep distractions out of the driver’s seat. Teens are more likely to operate a cell phone or a text messaging device while driving that any other age group of drivers.
-Keep the passengers to a minimum. Massachusetts law states that for the first six months with a license, new drivers under 18 may not drive a car with any passenger under 18. Passengers serve as some of the most dangerous driver distractions and significantly increase your risks for an accident.
-Eye on speed. Speeding is a factor in about a third of all fatal accidents. Make sure that teens understand the risks associated with speeding. The faster you travel, the higher the risks are for a fatal accident. Always follow the posted speed limit signs and accommodate your speed for the current weather and traffic conditions.
-Never drink and drive. Although not legally able to purchase alcohol, drinking and driving is common among American teens. Practice a zero-tolerance policy. Keep this conversation fresh with your teen and remind them that they can turn to you for help if they find themselves in a tricky situation.
-Always wear a seat belt. During each and every car ride, buckle yourself in. It’s your best defense against injury or death in the event of an accident. According to state law, all drivers and passengers who are 12 years old and older must wear seat belts.
If you someone you love has been involved in a Massachusetts traffic accident, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Multiple Accidents Back Up Interstate 93 South, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 13, 2013
MADD Survey Suggests Progress – Teen DUI Accidents Still a Risk, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 11, 2013