Troubling concerns about teen drivers

Louisiana parents may worry when their teenagers obtain driving privileges, a concern that is supported by nationwide statistics involving teen drivers. The leading cause of death for teenagers is automobile accidents, and both intoxicated driving and texting while driving are significant issues resulting in teen fatalities. Approximately 10 percent of drivers who possess valid licenses are under 21 years of age, but this group is responsible for approximately 17 percent of DUI fatalities.

The ratio of DUI fatalities to texting-related fatalities involving teens is two to three, a significant change in recent years as cellphone use has become predominant in society. Teen distractions aren't restricted to texting and operating their cellphones, but texting is now responsible for at least 3,000 teen deaths each year. In comparison, approximately 2,000 teens perish each year because of drinking and driving. In both cases, laws have been passed in various states to address these behaviors.

Unfortunately, strong penalties and laws have not curbed these practices, making it important for authorities, parents and educators to consider more effective methods for reducing dangers for teen drivers. Experts indicate that it is important to continue to explain and reinforce the serious nature of driving while one's senses are impaired or while one's attention is diverted. Additionally, it is important to equip teens with strategies for avoiding peer pressure that could lead to their involvement in car crashes. Finally, open lines of communication are critical so that a teen is confident when seeking help with an adverse situation.

An individual who has been seriously injured by a distracted or drunk teen driver could deal with major medical and financial challenges as a result. Personal injury litigation filed with the assistance of an attorney against the parents of the responsible driver might be an appropriate method of obtaining compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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