It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week and all over the country officials are pushing for more awareness and conversation about how new drivers can be safe ones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has come out with the fatal motor vehicle accident numbers from 2010, and the statistics are grim. Nearly 2,000 young drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 lost their lives from car crashes along with the 187,000 new drivers who were involved in accidents and suffered injuries from them. These numbers hit us hard and Tennessee adults are encouraged to engage in the education of our young drivers to help this year’s reports be lower than previous years’.

Some useful tips on how to prevent more tragic crashes are to talk about driving with a new driver; what it means to be a safe driver, how to keep a cool head in a scary situation and steps to take in an emergency. These things can help your teen driver to feel more comfortable in the event of a crash. Also, discussing some ground rules about when to drive and who to drive with could help, and setting up a limit of other teen passengers to help avoid potential distractions. One serious issue to discuss is using a phone while driving and the dangers of it. Another number reported from the 2010 figures is that 368 teen drivers were involved in fatal collisions due to distracted driving.

Knowing about the laws in Tennessee specifically can help new drivers to understand what is expected of them and how they can be safest when out on the road. Having things like using their seatbelts and not drinking and driving in that conversation can also help to prevent them from making a bad decision or worse, an impaired one.

Tennessee parents of new drivers can start this discussion now and continue to revisit this topic as their child gets more comfortable with the rules of the road. In the event that they are involved in an accident, contacting a personal injury lawyer could help a family to know their options regarding compensation and to move forward from the tragedy.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, “Traffic safety officials offer guidelines for safe teen driving,” Jerry Hirsch, Oct. 15, 2012