Teenagers, as newly licensed drivers, lack broad driving experience. As a result, teen drivers are more likely to make mistakes and get into accidents. Car crashes are the leading cause of death, as well as one of the top causes of injuries, for teen drivers across the country and in the State of West Virginia.
Recent studies have shown that more people are buckling up when they get in the car than ever before. However, the same studies also show that teen passengers are not as likely as others to wear their seatbelts.
When teenagers start driving, they progressively become more independent and may not always make the best choices pertaining to their safety. Some teens think that they are invincible. Other teens believe that they will never end up in an accident.
It is your job as a parent to make your teen understand that, even if he or she is a good driver, your teen cannot control other drivers on the road. Do not let your teen driver think that wearing a seatbelt is an optional choice. Your teen must realize that seatbelts are a necessity whether they are driving the car or riding in one as a passenger.
Some Facts About Seat Belts
You must explain to your teen driver that there are many various dangers involved with driving. Deadly car crashes are a fact of life. It is important that your teen driver truly comprehends the possible deadly consequences of choosing not to buckle up.
According to the NHTSA, teen drivers use seatbelts less often than any other group of drivers. Most fatal accidents include teenagers who were not wearing seatbelts.
The percentage of drivers and front seat passengers who wear seatbelts in West Virginia is below the national average. It is estimated that seatbelts saved approximately 15,000 lives in 2017 alone.
In 2016, 58% of passengers who died in accidents involving vehicles driven by teens were not wearing their seatbelts. Additionally, 32% of all fatal accidents in West Virginia involved alcohol.
Back in 2010, only 30% of people killed in a West Virginia car accidents were wearing a seatbelt.
In recent years, the amount of fatalities resulting from failure to buckle up in West Virginia has decreased by about 40%. This shows that with persistence, you can get your teen to buckle up, too.
Simple Things Parents can do to Get Teens to Wear Seatbelts
You should always require continuous seatbelt use of all passengers. It is important to teach your child about the importance of wearing a seatbelt from a young age. Then, by the time your child becomes a teenager it is already engraved in his or her mind.
Although your teen may believe that buckling up is uncool, especially when his or her friends are in the car, you need to stress to your teen that safety is more important than perceptions of others. Tell your teen that seatbelts are always in style.
Teenagers come to conclusions about what is typical or demanded of them by observing the attitudes and behaviors of their parents and others around them. Therefore, by showing that you care, your teen is more likely to wear a seatbelt. Teens are much more likely to wear their seatbelt every time, if it has become an established routine for them and if they have seen you wear your seatbelt every time you get in the car.
Let your teen know all of the important reasons for wearing a seatbelt, not the least important of which is that it is the law. You can mention West Virginia’s laws requiring anyone under 18 years of age to wear a seatbelt.
Since teens are less likely to wear seatbelts when other teens are in the car, make your teen fully earn your trust before allowing him or her to drive with teen passengers or driving in cars with other teen drivers.
By creating a strict parent-teen driving contract, parents will be able to make all of their expectations crystal clear. The contract should also include consequences for violating any expectations. A sample agreement can be found by clicking this link.
It is important not to show any leniency. By being firm and unafraid to discipline your teen for failing to wear his or her seatbelt, you will indicate how serious the issue is. This may include removing or restricting your teen’s driving privileges. Your teen needs to realize that there are serious punishments for disobeying any rules.
At times, it may seem like your teen has a short memory. Thus, it is critical to have frequent discussions about driving safety and the use of seatbelts. Begin having those conversations with your child before they even start learning to drive.
Explain to your teens that seatbelts are the greatest protection against aggressive, impaired, and distracted drivers. Sharing any personal stories of a close friend or family member who was seriously injured or even killed because he or she was not buckled up tends to be effective, too.
Most importantly, you need to serve as a good role model to your teen. If your teen does not see you wearing your seatbelt, they will not either. So, you should always drive safely and buckle up. Teens are much more likely to emulate when parents model and encourage proper actions and behaviors everyday. Your teen will appreciate the significance that no one is above wearing their seatbelts.
Contact a West Virginia Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a car accident in West Virginia, you require an experienced attorney in Clarksburg who knows how to handle personal injury lawsuits.
At Goddard & Wagoner, LLC, we know that victims of car accidents usually need costly medical care. Furthermore, often times victims are not capable of work while recovering from their injuries. A combination of physical pain and emotional distress, as well as monetary troubles, can make life extremely difficult.Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not receive any money for legal fees until after recovering compensation for your injuries.
With over 20 years of combined legal experience and millions of dollars recovered on behalf of our clients, you can trust us to aggressively and tenaciously fight to secure the compensation you are owed. If you want results, you should call Goddard & Wagoner, LLC. To learn more about our Clarksburg injury lawyers can offer you, dial (304) 584-1430 now, or contact us online for a free consultation regarding your car accident case.