National Teen Driver Safety week is a reminder to teenage drivers and their parents that it is always a good time to talk about safe driving. Whether your teenage driver has been driving a few months or a for a year, reinforcing safe driving habits can help in case your teenage driver has gotten over confident or acquired some bad habits.
The National Safety Council recommends that you review the following safe driving practices:
- Seat belt use — Seat belts saves lives. Using a seat belt reduces the risk of being seriously injured or killed in a car accident by more than 50%. Remind your teen to never carry more passengers in their car than there are seat belts and to buckle up for each and every driving trip.
- Cell phone use — Using a cell phone while driving is not only dangerous but it is against the law. In Washington state, it is against the law for teenage drivers to talk on a cell phone while driving and to text drive. Even if police just see a driver holding a phone, they can pull a driver over and write a $124 ticket.
- Nighttime driving — Driving at night time is more challenging than driving during day time. Be sure your teenage driver has sufficient practice time driving at nighttime.
- Driving with friends — Driving with teen passengers can increase the risk of a car accident by as much as 48%. If a teen driver has three passengers, their risk of a car accident is even more. Be sure to emphasize with your teen driver how passengers can be a distraction.
- State driving laws for teens — Washington state requires teen drivers to take a traffic safety course before obtaining a license. Teens are also issued an intermediate license which prohibits teens from driving between 1am and 5am for the first 12 months; prohibits driving with other passengers besides family members for 6 months and no more than 3 passengers for the next six months; prohibits teenage drivers from using a cell phone including a hands-free device while driving.
- Discuss unsafe driving behaviors — Unsafe driving behaviors such as driving too fast, racing or aggressive driving put your teen and others at risk for an accident. Be sure to talk to your teen about the consequences of these driving behaviors.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.