Teaching teenagers to avoid driving distractions

When teaching a teen to drive in Oklahoma (or any other state, for that matter) there's obviously a certain amount of personal safety risk involved. However, since every motorist is obligated to adhere to all traffic regulations, and act with caution to keep everyone as safe as possible, if every driver fulfills his or her duty, that risk should be very low. Certain situations (and people) cause the risk to soar; distracted drivers rank high among roadway dangers.

You've probably glanced left or right on the highway before, only to notice another motorist in your vicinity gabbing away on a cell phone -- in moving traffic! In fact, statistics show more than 600,000 drivers throughout the nation use cell phones while driving. In 2015, nearly 3,500 people died and almost 4,000 others suffered injuries in motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted drivers.

If you see these behaviors on the road, steer clear!

Teenagers are apparently part of the most-distracted-drivers group. Government agencies and advocacy groups caution parents of teens to set good examples for children of legal driving ages, since kids often develop similar driving habits as their parents. When warning teens about possible driving distractions, many parents cite the following as the most dangerous:

  • Talking on hand-held cell phones
  • Daydreaming at the wheel
  • Interacting with other vehicle occupants
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Eating or drinking
  • Allowing pets to move about freely inside a moving vehicle

The above behaviors are recipes for disaster. If you notice a distracted motorist while you're traveling with a young and inexperienced driver, it's best to advise your teen to put as much distance between your vehicle and the distracted driver's in as safe a manner as possible. In addition, you may be able to help save lives if you're able to safely pull off the road and notify authorities of an apparent danger. If a car accident occurs, try to remember as many details of the incident as you can.

In many states, those cited for distracted driving violations may have their licenses suspended; those navigating the process to obtain a valid driver's license may face substantial delays. You'll obviously want to be fully aware of all Oklahoma driving laws in case a problem arises. If you or your teen suffered injuries in a collision caused by a distracted driver, the law allows you to seek monetary judgment against the driver found at-fault. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the process.

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