[:en]Getting your drivers license as a teenager can be very exciting. Having the freedom to get around without relying on others or alternative forms of transportation (like public transit) is something many teen drivers look forward to. However according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are still the leading cause of teenage deaths. The CDC reported that in 2016 while teenagers 15-19 made up only 6.5 percent of the population, they caused an estimated 13.4 billion dollars worth of motor vehicle injuries. So before you let your teen get behind the wheel, here are a few things to consider:
Seat Belts are Key
- Not only is it the law, but having your teen buckled up will prevent them from being one of the 60 percent of those who are 16-20 who were not wearing a seat belt in a fatal auto accident, as per data gathered from the NHTSA
No Phone Zone
- Talking or texting on the phone is a big factor in distracted driving, having your teen keep their phone away in the car will keep their focus where it should be: on the road. It’s even against state law in Colorado for drivers under 18 (per CDOT teen driving web page).
Know the Limit
- Make sure your teen is aware of speed limits, as speeding is one of multiple factors that can lead to auto accidents.
Time of Day
- Night driving crashes occurring from 9 p.m. – 6 a.m. accounted for 41 percent of teen driver fatalities in 2010. Make sure your teen is following the restrictions of their state licensing program (in Colorado, driving is not permitted between midnight – 5 a.m. for drivers 15-17, although this may vary somewhat between city and county).
How Many People
- Keeping the number of passengers to a minimum when your teen first starts driving, is another way to make sure that their focus is on driving (and not socializing). In Colorado, a teen driver may only drive one person under 21 years of age after they have had their license for 6 months. Exceptions to this rule are for siblings or other passengers that have a medical emergency.
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, contact our office at (303) 327-9988 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our highly experienced attorneys. Please also visit our practice area page on auto accidents at our website here for additional information.[:]