There are so many safety factors to consider when your teenager begins driving. When it comes to teen brain development, distracted driving, and graduated license laws, parents have a strong role in assuring that their children stay safe behind the wheel. Great safety strategies include educating your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, and creating a teen-parent safe driving contract that rewards safe driving behavior. But there’s one aspect for new teen drivers that parents have complete control over: what car (if any) they will drive.
It’s no surprise that high-school football is a dangerous sport. Allowing your child to play means accepting the increased risk of torn ligaments, broken bones, and head injuries. But most recently, child safety experts have suggested that the risk of head injuries could be much higher than originally thought. First, a New York Times report found that while helmets are adequate to protect against skull fractures, they often fail to prevent concussions. Now, Slate reports that a team from Purdue University has found that high-schoolers can suffer concussions without showing physical symptoms, meaning they could keep playing and potentially make the head injury worse.
Did you make any new years resolutions this winter? For the driving safety parent, cutting down on your child’s use of cell phones behind the wheel is a great resolution option. Each year, more than 6,000 teenagers are killed and nearly half a million are injured in accidents related to distracted driving. And safety advocates have said that many of these accidents can be avoided simply by raising awareness. Now, Glee star Jane Lynch has joined the fight against cell phone misuse in a series of videos produced by LG designed to help parents boost cell phone safety for their teens.
We spend a lot of time on the GJEL blog discussing distracted driving and the implications of the dangerous practice on a large scale. Since distracted driving contributes to the death of more than 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year, discussion about state laws to curb cell phone use behind the wheel is important. But such discussion can have the unintended effect of blurring the stories of those who have witnessed the most horrific impacts of distracted driving firsthand. So in honor of Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to emphasize some of those stories, and memorialize some individuals who cannot celebrate the holidays this year because people continue to drive distracted.
Although the brain is 80 percent developed at adolescence, new research indicates that brain signals essential for motor skills and emotional maturity are the last to extend to the brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for many of the skills essential for driving. This research suggests that emotional immaturity, not inexperience, is the primary reason that teenage drivers are responsible for far more car accidents than any other age demographic. Click through for our animated brain development infographic.
Teenagers are notoriously the most dangerous demographic of drivers. But there are dozens of factors that can influence car accidents that have nothing to do with inexperience and immaturity. In fact, older drivers can become a hazard as their eyesight, motor skills, and spatial recognition begins to fade, and a set of safety advocates are beginning to suggest laws to ensure that drivers stay safe on the road as they grow older. This guide lists some of the dangers associated with driving for older adults, and some possible alternatives to help drivers maintain their freedom once they put away the keys.
The details of your state’s driving laws might not be a major influence on the events of your daily life, but if you or your teenager is getting a license, you want to make calls or text while behind the wheel, or your elderly parents are losing their motor skills, knowledge of the relevant regulations becomes essential. Looking at driver laws nationwide, the trend is moving toward stricter graduated license laws for teen drivers, and heightened regulations against distracted driving. Scroll over this interactive map to see the details of your state’s driving laws and how they compare to others.
Slowly but surely, technology has become an unavoidable part of our day. But fidgeting with cell phones and other technological devices while driving is enormously dangerous, contributing to more than 500,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths last year alone, according to the .National Highway Traffic Administration. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of devices that will help avoid the temptation to text, email, or dial friends while on the road. These devices can help make yourself and your teenager tech gurus, but more importantly, a safer drivers.
Getting into a car accident is scary, confusing, and complicated. It's even scarier to think about your teenager getting into a car accident. But it's important that if you or your teenager is in that situation, everyone knows what to do. So while we hope you never have to use this form, we encourage you to download our Car Accident Preparedness PDF, and keep it in your glovebox, along with your insurance and vehicle registration info. Key pieces of the PDF include emergency supplies, the parties involved, witnesses, documenting the scene, and a step-by-step checklist.