According to the most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics, traffic accidents are a leading cause of death of young people between the ages of 15-19. It is extremely important to speak with young people in our community about the importance of safe driving behavior at all times, and National Teen Driver Safety Week is the perfect time to start the conversation.
National Teen Driver Safety Week started in 2007 following a series of tragic car accidents involving young drivers. For nearly a decade, Teen Driver Safety Week has been held during the third week in October with the goal of raising awareness of safe driving behavior among teenagers and reducing the number of tragic and preventable car accidents.
Teenagers face serious risks every time they go out on the road due to a number of factors:
- Teenage drivers are inexperienced: It takes time and practice to fully learn the rules of the road and to be able to react quickly in dangerous situations. Many young drivers that only have their driver’s license for a few months or a year are not yet aware of how and when to react to certain situations on the road.
- The teenage brain is still developing: Research shows that our brains do not fully develop until we reach our early 20’s. That means that teenagers are operating motor vehicles while the parts of their brains that influence reflexes, impulse control, and decision making, are not fully formed. This can lead to poor decisions, unsafe behavior, and an inability to react to danger in time.
- Teenagers face more distractions than ever before: Whether teenage motorists are talking with passengers, adjusting the radio, sending text messages, or posting to social media, there is a lot of temptation to become distracted behind the wheel. Any one of these behaviors can distract a driver and keep their eyes, and mind, off of the task of driving. When drivers are distracted, even for a moment, the results can be devastating.
- Risk-taking behaviors: All young people have a lot of lessons to learn about the consequences of their decisions. Due to a combination of youth, inexperience, and biological factors, teenage motorists are more likely to engage in risky behaviors while driving. This could include speeding, disobeying posted stoplights or stop signs, driving while intoxicated, or not wearing a seatbelt. All of these behaviors increase their risk of being involved in a serious traffic accident.
At Graves McLain, we want all drivers, regardless of age, to reach their destinations safely.
Click here for resources that can help parents discuss safe driving with your teenager.
If you or a loved one are injured in any type of motor vehicle accident that not your fault, Graves McLain is here to help. Call us today at 918-359-6600 for a FREE, confidential consultation. When you call, you will speak with an experienced Tulsa, Oklahoma Car Accident attorney for free.
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