As a parent, I cannot fathom the recent losses we have seen in our local Northeast Ohio communities. As each tragedy passes, it seems as a society we become even more disconnected with the very real potential outcomes of our teens getting behind the wheel.
With laws, safety precautions and pep talks – Are we doing enough to protect our children, and ourselves, on the roads?
Summer Teen Driving Dangers
Beginning with prom season and Memorial Day weekend, and going to about the Labor Day holiday weekend, we enter what is known as “the 100 deadliest days.”.For teens, this is a host of exciting events, distractions and overall lack of awareness that can have deadly consequences.
AAA estimates that in the last 5 years, about 1,600 fatalities have occurred in the early summer months as a result of inexperienced drivers on the road. Given that new drivers are almost 20x more likely to be involved in an accident than experienced drivers, this is certainly cause for concern.
Teen drivers drive fast, distracted and lack the overall wherewithal that experienced drivers have. They simply believe they are invincible.
Changing Laws to Keep Kids Safe
Evolving laws aim to keep younger drivers safer, and to generally provide safer roads for all of us. While our teens put their own lives, and the lives of their friends’ at risk , it can also cause treacherous driving conditions for all of us.!
Recent Laws in Ohio Include;
- New curfew – 12 am – 6 am ban for teens under 18 years of age
- Seat belt requirements for all passengers
- Restricted to 1 non-family member passenger only
- Under 18 – NO mobile devices while driving
- No texting while driving, sitting in traffic, etc.
- No tablets, iPads, GPS, etc.
- Primary offense – Teens can be stopped only for texting, an officer doesn’t need another offense to initiate a traffic stop.
- 60 day suspension on first offense
- One year suspension on second offense
Tips for Talking with your Teen Driver
The most important thing is to communicate with your teen driver. He or she can hurt or kill themselves, or someone else, and driving safely is one of the biggest responsibilities we bestow in life. Set clear expectations for car behavior, including making your teen check in before he or she gets on the road, and when they arrive at their destination. Use technology such as Verizons’ HUM or ‘Find my Phone’ apps to keep track of your young driver! Remind your teen to take it slow, not to rush and to always be aware of their surroundings.
If you or your teen driver was involved in a serious accident, you must call my offices immediately.
As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.