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Weather, late hours and distractions worry teen drivers’ parents

University researchers who surveyed parents of teenagers concluded that parents should actively encourage their teens to drive safely and promote responsible driving behavior among their peers. The survey of 900 parents of children aged 14 to 18 identified bad weather as a major concern for parents. Volatile weather, which is common in Oklahoma, worried 68% of parents, who often prevented their teens from riding with teen drivers when weather conditions were potentially hazardous.

Driving late at night, particularly after midnight, concerned parents nearly as much as weather with 67% of them limiting late-night driving by teens or with teens. The number of young people in a vehicle represented another common concern. Close to 40% of parents viewed a vehicle driven by a teen with two or more teens as passengers as a threat to safety. They feared that distractions like cell phone use and loud music would take attention away from traffic.

Survey questions that asked parents what their teens told them about riding with other teens revealed frequent distraction among drivers. About 60% of parents said that their teens had seen their friends distracted behind the wheel. To combat distraction, the researchers suggested that parents and teens discuss the importance of speaking up when they see someone distracted from the road. Taking responsibility for safety, even as a passenger, had the potential to halt distracted behavior in the opinion of the researchers.

When car accidents occur, a person could experience serious or even disabling injuries. A personal injury claim might result in the victim of negligence collecting money for medical expenses and lost income. Legal representation may aid someone burdened by injuries and confused by information from an insurance company. An attorney might gather evidence that supports a claim for damages and undermines attempts to avoid responsibility.