Drivers of all ages tend to get excited to hit the roadways at this time of year. Once winter is well behind us, there is nothing quite like the car windows rolled down, music blaring and cruising the roadways while the spring sun sets.
It's a scary statistic: Teen drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident than adults (per mile driven). As the parent of a teen driver, your biggest nightmare is learning that he or she has been in an accident. Understanding some of the biggest risk factors that contribute to these crashes can help you talk to your children about auto safety - and, hopefully, avoid ever hearing such tragic news.
If you're like most parents in Pennsylvania and across the country, watching your teenage son or daughter get his or her driver's license and climb behind the wheel of a car can be a moment filled with mixed emotions.
It is a validated fear: Teens make dangerous and irresponsible decisions. Sure, it is worrying if a teen chooses to try smoking. It is worrying if a teen decides not to do his homework because his video games were just too tempting the night before.
Teens and driving bring to mind a time in most adults lives when they felt like they were invincible, that they were finally growing up. Getting one's license to drive as a teenager really is a step toward adulthood. A license is more than just the ability to drive. It's a safety threat that Pennsylvania lawmakers have attempted to mitigate.
Traffic safety advocates follow trends on the roads, always with the hope that fewer people were hurt or killed than in years before. Unfortunately, last year was not a major safety improvement for Pennsylvania motorists. More people were lost to fatal crashes than in 2011.
For generations parents have been reluctantly handing their teens the keys to the family car and urging them to be careful, all the while worried that their sons or daughters will get into an accident as a result of too little experience, too many distractions or both. In recent years state transportation officials have taken steps to alleviate fears about teen drivers by passing graduated driver laws, but some might wonder if they're enough.
In previous blog posts we've discussed the dangers of distracted driving, particularly among younger drivers. A recent national survey confirmed that one bad habit, sending or reading text messages behind the wheel, is particularly common among older high school students, despite the high risk of car accidents.
In a case that garnered nationwide attention, a Superior Court judge ruled that someone who sends a text message to a driver who consequently causes a car accident cannot be sued.
Many of us remember what it was like to finally get our driver's license after counting the days until our 16th birthday. The first thing you want to do is give your unlicensed friends a lift. Everyone pile in! The more the better! And let's be sure to turn up the radio for an extra good time.