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Virginia (VA) drivers beware …

Interestingly enough, it appears that June 10th is the second deadliest day for teen drivers after studying five years worth of data. While the reasons for this appear to be unknown, the thought is that due to proms, graduations, and parties, more teens are on the roads, and potentially driving while impaired. Now I once heard that 65 percent of statistics were just made up on the spot (a little joke there), and it is unclear that drivers should be extra cautious just because the calendar reads "June 10th" — or May 20th, as that is considered the most deadly day for teen drivers — but these random statistics do bring up an important safety point. Parents should make sure their teens are properly trained in all safety initiatives when they hand over the keys to the car, because teen driving is dangerous!

We all know that teen drivers typically have some of the highest driver’s insurance rates due to their inexperience behind the wheel and the propensity to make mistakes, but often we don’t realize just how profound this data is. According to the Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in the age group. That’s particularly shocking when it is put in those terms. Couple that with the fact that every year texting and cell phone usage becomes more and more popular and we have a recipe for disaster. Anyone who is the parent of a teenaged child that has access to a motor vehicle should remind their kid of the basics:

  • Don’t drive while intoxicated; better yet, you’re too young, so don’t drink at all!
  • Wear a sea tbelt at all times
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Drive the speed limit or slightly under
  • Don’t text while driving.

Sometimes the most simple reminders can go a long way in promoting safe driving behavior.

As an injury lawyer, I’ve seen far too many young lives cut short due to negligence. As a former prosecutor, some of the worst cases I saw were those where a young driver caused a crash that killed one of their underaged passengers. Often times, the passenger was the driver’s best friend. You can’t imagine how difficult it is seeing not one, but two families sitting in the courtroom completely devestated as they watch one young kid go through a trial and remember another young kid who is no longer with them. If you’re reading this and you have teenaged children who are driving, please take the time to remind them of the basics before they get behind the wheel.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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