If you have a teen driver in your household, then you probably know how it is bittersweet once they get their driver’s license. It is good because parents no longer have to take their kid everywhere. It is a scary milestone, however, because of the many dangers that come with putting a teen in charge of a vehicle and on the roads in Pennsylvania.

A specific traffic danger that has become a must when discussing driving responsibilities with new drivers is distracted driving. By the times many teens get their driver’s license, they have had years to become extremely attached to their cellphones. Putting their phone down while driving, therefore, isn’t the easiest habit to form.

Parents and society must do more to effectively shape teens’ driving skills. Research shows that the fear that parents and driver’s education might put in them actually helps prevent distracted driving accidents involving teens — for a short period of time. As time passes, teens become more confident, and that confidence leads to dangerous driving behaviors.

In 2012, more than 3,000 people died in distracted driving accidents. That is too many preventable car accidents and deaths; that is too many victims, including teens, whose lives were cut short because of bad habits. In Pennsylvania, texting while driving isn’t just a bad habit; it is illegal. Parents must make the traffic laws and their expectations of their teen drivers clear and do so on a consistent basis.

If someone is injured or killed as a result of a distracted driver, a personal injury lawyer is a valuable source of legal support.

Source: USA Today, “Distracted driving: What you can do,” Heather Frank, Feb. 14, 2014