As the rate of car accidents involving teens rises nationwide, parents and loved ones are desperately searching for ways to prevent them. The following tips from our experts at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield will help you understand the major causes of teenage car accidents in Arkansas.
Major Causes for Teenage Car Accidents in Arkansas
Some of the main reasons why Arkansas teens are hurt or killed in car accidents include:
Inexperienced and Untrained Drivers
This is becoming less of an issue as High Schools and independent sources are offering driver training classes that help educate teens in driving protocols. If the HS classes do not coordinate with the teen’s birthdate the student will need to enroll in an independent class at the parent’s expense.
Improper Use of Seat Belts and Other Safety Measures
Even with proper training, teens sometimes elect not to buckle up or require passengers to buckle up. They feel this makes them uncool. Today’s upgraded technology in the car helps, but they still do not necessarily follow the law. They also may not follow the speed limit signs posted leading to teenage car accidents in Arkansas.
Many states and counties are passing laws to restrict texting and driving due to the high number of deaths. In addition to texting, discourage talking and use of cell phones for any other use. Driving with friends is also a huge distraction. Your teen is likely to give a ride to friends that are under the driving age. There will also be older teens that want to party in your teen’s car just to have a driver. Any distraction is dangerous for the driver.
As hard as it is to admit, your child may try driving while intoxicated, on drugs, impaired, drowsy, or in a lethargic condition. A high percentage of teenagers do try alcohol and drugs at some time and are not aware of the effect on their driving abilities.
Late Night Driving and Stunt Driving
Teenagers, especially males, like to participate in challenging driving. They like to drive late at night, race, and do stunts with their friends. Falling asleep at the wheel, and racing have resulted in a multitude of teenage car accidents in Arkansas.
Ways to Help Avoid a Car Accident With Your Teen
You cannot prevent it, but you can attempt to avoid an accident by educating your teenager on car accidents in Arkansas.
Be sure your child receives the training they need to be a good, responsible driver. Once your child gets their learner’s permit, let them drive when you go places together. Allow them to drive as they would normally drive without your interference. As with so many other things, practice makes it better.
Model Using Seatbelts & Safety Features
Use the proper restraints and safety features every time you use the vehicle. Your child learns much from your behavior. Acknowledge and follow the speed limits and other posted signs when you are driving. Be sure your teen understands how the point system works, and that they could lose their license if they get stopped and charged enough times.
Discourage Distracted Driving
Express that using a cell phone while driving is unacceptable. Encourage and exhibit the practice of pulling over to the side to use the phone. Make and enforce limits on the number of passengers that your teen can have in the car at one time when driving. Make it clear that if caught with more than 2 passengers in the car while driving, they will lose driving privileges.
Never Drink and Drink
Do not set a bad example for your child by operating a vehicle while impaired in any way. You may have developed a higher tolerance, but your child will be more susceptible to just a drink or 2. If they believe driving impaired is acceptable, they will do it.
Set a Curfew
It will make your teenager angry and start plenty of fights, but do it anyway. Make it reasonable based on their age, and at least loosely enforce it. They need to know that you are the authority and you are only concerned about them.
Make Sure the Vehicle Is in Good Condition
If you can share a vehicle with your child or provide a vehicle for them, be sure it is in good condition. Do not hand down a vehicle that does not have working lights or no seat belts. Be sure to add them to your auto insurance policy and share these tips with them.
Contact Us if Your Teen Is in a Car Accident
When a teenager first gets a license it is a form of freedom. They can go places, do things without their parents, and have fun on their own. If you or your loved one is involved in a car accident in Arkansas, contact us online or by calling (479) 361-3575 for a free consultation.