For many New York teenagers, obtaining their drivers’ license can be an exciting time. Operating a vehicle gives teens a chance to commute to school or work, visit a friend, and drive to see a game or to shop at a mall. In many cases, new drivers might enjoy taking friends and siblings along with them, but having more people in the car can cause driver distractions, which can be dangerous.
Passengers and new drivers
According to recent studies, new drivers who have just one other teenager with them in the car are 44 percent more likely to be involved in an accident. Passengers in cars operated by new drivers also face this risk. Parents can take steps to ensure the safety of their newly licensed teenage son or daughter by not allowing them to take along other teenagers or siblings when driving until they gain more experience, which can take six months to a year.
What parents can do
Taking this approach will probably create problems for both parents and their teen drivers. For example, parents must resist the inclination to ask the new teen driver to take siblings somewhere or pick them up. Parents can also monitor who is driving their teenagers by being aware of some facts, such as
• Who the driver is
• How much driving experience the driver has
• Where they are going
• When they will return
• If they will be doing nighttime driving
What you can do if you are in a car crash caused by a distracted driver
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,000 people are injured and nine die in car accidents caused by a distracted driver. Distractions happen when drivers take their eyes and minds off driving to do something else, or when they use their hands to do something other than driving.
Those injured in an auto wreck caused by a distracted driver might hold the driver responsible by filing a claim for compensation. An experienced lawyer could review the official accident report for evidence of negligence and assist with the filing process.