August is the time of year children return to school. Many teenagers work all summer long to meet the requirements to receive a Texas driver’s license, so they can drive to school on their own. Although these young individuals might have met all of the requirements, they still lack the experience to maneuver through the fast pace of Texas roads. According to the Texas Department Transportation’s statistics, there were 211,803 car crashes of teen drivers who were younger than the age of 21 in 2017. 42,890 of those drivers were in accidents due to distractions, such as eating, drinking and/or focusing their attention to backseat passengers. 2,075 of those car crashes were a result of the teenager texting while driving. These statistics can be alarming for parents who know their teenagers are driving daily on busy highways and roads.
One way to reduce these horrifying statistics is to encourage parents to continuously remind their teen of safe driving tips; such as:
1. Millennials and Generation Z are the two generations who use cell phones. These two generations will not leave their destination without their phone on hand. However, cell phones are not entirely wrong, especially when parents need to get in touch with their child for specific reasons or emergency use. The problem with cell phone use is when the driver chooses to extend its use in the car by always choosing which song to play or responding to a message. It is encouraged for drivers to turn off their notifications on their phone. If the child has an iPhone turn the “Do Not Disturb” option on. This option silences calls, text messages, and notifications until the user turns it off.
It is essential to inform the young driver the seriousness of cell phone use while driving, specifically texting while driving. Two years ago, Governor Abbott signed a bill that banned texting while driving. If an officer stops a driver for this very issue, then the driver will receive a fine from $25-$100. If the driver commits this offense a second time, then a fine of $100-$200 will be given to the driver.
2. Parents can enforce stricter rules for their teens, such as limit the number of passengers the young driver can have in the car. When drivers have multiple passengers in the car, the driver becomes distracted to the commotion caused by those passengers.
3. If the teenage driver is unaware of the route to a destination, you might consider purchasing a GPS device for the vehicle rather than the teen driver relying on their cell phone. When a young driver uses the GPS on their cell phone, it is possible for text messages, notifications, and phone calls to interfere with the GPS, thus causing the driver to shift their attention to their phone away from the road.
4. Young drivers should be educated about the effects of alcohol on driving. Parents and guardians should inform teen drivers that alcohol can impair their decision-making, alertness, vision, and it can cause drowsiness. All of these conditions increase the likelihood of a vehicle collision.
If you have a young driver who experienced a car accident, it is crucial to contact a skilled attorney like Eric Reyes to represent you. Eric Reyes has been helping injured individuals for over 30 years receive compensation for their injuries and resulting damages for over 30 years. Eric Reyes is a Board Certified Attorney in Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Law. His vast experience with victims of accidents and knowledge of personal injury law can help you determine the best way to resolve your own injury claim. Please give our office a call at (817) 332-1522 for further information.