Articles Posted in Teen Drivers

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As more and more teens hit the road and the school year winds down, drivers will be at an increased chance of being involved in a Knoxville car accident.

Knoxville injury lawyers know all too well the severity of distracted driving among teens. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood states, “Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America’s roads and teens are especially vulnerable because of their inexperience behind the wheel and, often, peer pressure.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that nearly 500,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving in 2009. Nearly 5,500 people were killed in the United States.

Consumer Reports National Research Center recently conducted a representative survey about distracted driving and discovered some alarming facts:

-More than 60 percent of teen drivers admitted to using a hand-held phone while driving.

-30 percent of teens admit to texting while driving.

-9 out of 10 teen drivers have witnessed someone else using a hand-held phone behind the wheel.

-More than half of those surveyed have seen a distracted driver create a dangerous driving situation.

The DOT is teaming up with Consumer Reports in effort to educate teens about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving. They’re offering a free “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives” guide to parents, teens and teachers to alert them of the dangers of distracted driving.

The DOT and Consumer Reports recommend that you keep these points in mind when discussing road safety with your teen:

-Make sure they know the consequences of distracted driving, including punishments, consequences and injuries.

-Establish rules prohibiting texting and calling behind the wheel.

-Lead by example. Put down your phone while driving.

-Make a driving contract to be signed by you and your teen agreeing on specific driving rules.

“It only takes a moment to cause a tragedy,” says Jim Guest, president of Consumers Union, “No text or call is worth a life.”
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Young drivers in Tennessee are showing signs of being safer on the roadways. Our Knoxville car accident attorneys find that hopeful since the 15-20 year old age group is most at risk for being involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes.

Recently, Knox News reported that Tennessee officials were seeing a reduction in fatal car accidents involving teenagers.

Back in 2000, Tennessee initiated a graduated driver’s license law in an effort to keep teens safer. Tennessee currently allows teens once they turn 15 ½ years old to apply for a learner’s permit. The GDL restricts them at age 16 to only driving during certain hours of the day unsupervised. They are also allowed to have no more than one passenger in the car with them at a time.

As a result, state officials believe there has been a decrease in teen fatalities on the roadways. In 2005, there were 136 accidents per 1,000 drivers between the ages of 15-24. By 2009, this number dropped to 111 accidents per 1000 licensed drivers in that same age group. Reports have also shown that teen fatalities have gone down from 104 in 2007 to a preliminary report of 17 teen deaths in 2010.

Some states are adopting the multi-stage license requirements because they feel it gives young drivers time to develop their skills in order to be safer by the time they drive on their own. Safe Kids USA feels that educating your teens is the way to go according to a recent article in Yahoo News .

Safe Kids USA is targeting the 13-14 year old age group with a new program Countdown2Drive. Along with the help of the General Motors Foundation the program will educate teens on what it means to be a safe passenger as well as safe driver. The premise behind the new program is that if teens adapt safety tips now it will keep them safer as they begin to drive and become more independent.

The Tennessee Department of Safety promotes safety by offering the following tips to you and your teen driver:

-Know: research the facts and dangers of driving so that you can teach your teen.

-Show: exercise good driving behaviors when your teen is in the car with you.

-Grow: take the time to build your relationship with your teen so that the lines of communication don’t get blocked. Your young driver should be able to talk to you about driving situations or problems that arise.

Make your teen a priority when it comes time for them to learn to drive. Teaching them good driving behavior will keep them safer on the roadways for years to come.
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