Some of the most devastating car accidents in California have occurred with teens behind the wheel. In fact, the CDC reports that car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in the United States. In 2013 alone, 2,163 teens were killed in a car accident and a staggering 243,243 required emergency medical treatment. What can you do to help keep your teen safe in the car, and what actions should you take if your teen is hurt or killed in a car accident?
Keep Your Teen Off the Phone
Distracted driving plays a significant role in teen auto accidents, especially now with smartphones with the ability to make calls, get on social media and play music in the car. Talk to your teen about distracted driving and when to put the phone away. Talk about how texting can always wait, and if they must use the phone, to pull over to a safe place and stop the car.
This also means that you should avoid calling them while they’re out. Set up designated check-in times and let your teen know that it’s okay not to answer the phone when you call if they’re driving.
Talk About Drinking and Driving
Many teens choose to experiment with alcohol. However, when combined with driving, drinking becomes much more dangerous than breaking a few house rules and underage drinking laws. Drinking and driving kills, and it’s critical that your teen understands that it is never acceptable to drive after drinking, even if they only had “one or two” drinks.
Talk to your teen about calling you for a ride home if they’ve been drinking. Let your teen know that you’ll always be available to give them a ride if needed, so they aren’t tempted to drive home themselves or ride home with someone else who has been drinking.
What to Do If Your Teen Was in a Car Accident
Many car accidents that involve teens are the result of the negligence or carelessness of someone else on the road. If your teen has been injured or killed in a car accident, it’s important to find out the cause of the accident and determine what options you have for justice. You may be able to hold the person who caused the accident legally responsible for their actions. Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today to speak with a car accident lawyer at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.