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Distracted Driving: Tips for Teens

Texting and driving is a big problem with teenagers today. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, drivers below the age of 25 can be up to 3X more likely to read or text while driving. It was also found that when teens are passengers, they are far less likely to speak up if the driver is texting and practicing unsafe and distracted driving habits.

Teenagers are more at risk on the road, with higher reported levels of cell phone use and texting while driving. All parents need to get their teenagers involved with their own safety, by discussing the importance of fully focusing on driving while behind the wheel.

Teenagers and young adults are the highest offenders of distracted driving in the country, and they put themselves and other drivers on the roads at risk every day when they text and drive, drink and drive, drive with headphones on, etc.

New social media and networking sites have taken off like a rocket. Teens today have an array of sites and apps that allow them to stay in touch with their friends 24/7, and constantly stay updated with all of the information that interests them. The handheld availability of these new technologies has led to a drastic increase of distracted driving accidents in recent years.

The Department of Transportation, as well as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood have been promoting programs like the “Anti Distracted Summit’, held in Washington, DC annually, to educate greater advocacy against distracted driving from teens themselves. This summit marks just one of several up and coming initiatives that draw on input from teens to develop specifically targeted anti-distracted driving programs.

Here are some important tips to share with your teenagers on safe driving.

1. Never text and drive. A text can always wait, but the repercussions of harming others on the road or injuring yourself in an accident can last a lifetime.

2. Always pay attention to the road. Sometimes hazards remain hidden until it’s too late. It’s easy to feel a false sense of security while driving. Make sure you remain fully alert at all times.

3. Try not to talk on your cell phone while driving. Although not all cities have yet to ban talking on cell phones while driving, it is a continuing trend that is gaining momentum every day. It is a good rule to only use cell phones while driving in an emergency, and to pull over somewhere safe if you must make a call. If you do talk on your cell phone always use a blue tooth device, speaker phone or a hands-free device for safety.

4. Never wear headphones while driving or listen to music so loudly that you can’t hear potential hazards. Car horns exist to warn other drivers of dangers while driving. It is imperative that you are able to hear car horns as well as other outside noises. This will allow you to take immediate action in case of an emergency and could potentially save your life.

If your teens make an effort to follow these simple rules they will drastically reduce their risk of injuring themselves or others in a distracted driving crash.

Daggett Shuler, Attorneys at Law, principal office is based at 2140 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC  27104.  The firm handles personal injury claims including serious injuries, automobile accidents, workers’ compensation and social security disability.  If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident call Daggett Shuler for a free confidential consultation at 336-724-1234.

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I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston