Automobile accidents happen every day in the metro-Atlanta area. Many drivers may feel that it is unusual to go without seeing a crash in a week's worth of commuting in and around the city. In 2011 alone, 61 fatalities were reported in Fulton County. Cobb County's numbers were lower at 42 deaths, but still ranked the fourth highest county in number of traffic fatalities.
These crashes, as well as the countless others that did not result in loss of life, were caused for a variety of reasons. Weather and unexpected conditions often leave us expecting car wrecks on highways and Interstates, but there are many other causes as well. These crash causes tend to differ between drivers' age groups. For instance, teenage drivers are more likely to cause an accident due to driver error than their adult counterparts. 1/3 of crashes caused by teenage drivers involve speeding, which explains why many of those crashes involve only one automobile.
Cobb County parents should educate their teenagers on the dangers of following the rules while driving. Teenagers are automatically at a higher risk of crashing when they get behind the wheel simply because they have less experience than older drivers do. Like in many exercises, practice makes perfect. Until they are able to gain enough to experience to be considered "safe" behind the wheel, teen drivers should keep the following things in mind:
- Passengers in a vehicle make it much more difficult to concentrate on the task at hand: driving. Studies show that the risk of fatal crashes rises with each additional passenger in the vehicle. In crashes that cause the death of a teenage passenger, over half were riding with a teen driver.
- You've heard it a million times, but it's important to remember that operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only dangerous, but negligent as well. Fortunately, statistics show that teenagers drive under the influence less often than adults. Let's continue to make those numbers drop and designate a driver!
- Seatbelts, seatbelts, seatbelts. A majority of teenagers who lost their lives in automobile wrecks weren't wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash. Buckle up every time you enter a vehicle, even before it begins in motion.
- The number of teenage drivers that crash vehicles at night is higher than those that do so during daylight hours. Night driving can be harder to grasp than driving during the day, so use extra caution if you are out at night.
Parents, it's up to you to educate your teenagers, even before they are old enough to drive. Proper safe driving education begins by observation, well before they are allowed behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. By constantly requiring that your teen practices safe driving practices, you may not only save the life of your child, but of others as well.
For more information on what to do if you were involved in a car crash, contact Jones & Swanson at (770) 427-5498 today.