For parents in the Tampa Bay area, it can be unnerving to know that your child is nearing the age of driver's license eligibility. Teen car accidents happen much more often than they should, frequently as a result of the teenager's inexperience behind the wheel, as well as the teen's engagement with poor driving behaviors such as texting while driving. According to a recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicated that "new teen drivers ages 16-17 year old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash." During the summer months, teens are at a particularly high risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision. AAA describes these months as the "100 Deadliest Days," when teens are out of school, are driving much more frequently, and are placing themselves at risk of an auto accident.
What can parents do help prevent teen car accidents? First, parents in the Tampa Bay area should understand the hazards associated with teen driving. Then, parents should take advantage of new technology and smartphone apps that may help to reduce the risk of a deadly crash.
Understand the Risks of Teen Driving and Motor Vehicle Collisions
Just how dangerous are teenagers when they are behind the wheel of an automobile? The AAA Foundation provides data about teen driving practices and the relative risk of being involved in an accident:
● Other teen passengers: When a teen drives with other young passengers, the risk of an accident rises drastically. When there are three or more passengers in the vehicle under the age of 21, the risk of a deadly accident quadruples. The risk doubles when there are two or more passengers under the age of 21, while that risk increases by 44 percent when teens carry even one passenger under the age of 21. Alternately, the risk of a fatal traffic collision decreased by 62 percent when a teen drives with an adult passenger aged 35 or older.
● Cell phone use: About 70 percent of teens report that they have talked on a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days, while more than 50 percent of teens admit that they have read a text message or an email while driving in the last 30 days. Of all teen drivers, 94 percent say they keep their phones on while driving, and 80 percent of them believe they are safer drivers than other teens even when they are engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
Technology and Apps for Tampa Bay Parents
Do you have a teen driver? Do you find these statistics alarming? You should consider the value of certain apps and other forms of technology that can allow parents to control certain teen driving behaviors. A recent article in USA Today highlights the following apps:
● Ford's MyKey System: allows parents to customize vehicle settings, from seat belt reminders to radio volume;
● Chevrolet's Teen Driver Technology: this built-in feature sets speed alerts and gives parents an in-vehicle report card about the teens' driving patterns;
● Car-Net: this app provides location boundaries and sets speed alerts;
● Automatic Pro: this device provides live updates on a teen's driving along with real-time tracking; and
● Apple's Do Not Disturb While Driving: this is a mode that detects whether the phone user is in the car and silences phone features until the person is no longer driving.
Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Lawyer
Teen driving safety is a serious concern, and if it is not taken seriously, car accidents can happen. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a crash, you should speak with a Tampa Bay auto accident lawyer about your case. Contact the Wells Law Group, P.A. today.