May is the month when summer vacation starts for most teens. It’s also when more teen drivers are spending more time on the road.

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, with more than 3,500 lives lost every year. May is designated as Global Youth Traffic Safety Month to spread awareness about this epidemic.

As we head into the summer months, the Houston auto accident attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris want to help teen drivers and their passengers stay safe.

What Teens Can Do

Seatbelt, seatbelt, seatbelt! Using the lap-shoulder belt reduces your chance of serious injury in a car crash by 70 percent, and decreases the chance of a fatality by 50 percent.

Follow the laws. Obey traffic signals, stop at stop signs, use your blinkers, and don’t speed. Speeding is a contributing factor in a large number of auto accidents, particularly the fatal crashes. Drive only at the posted speed limits. It’s never worth your life, or the life of someone else, to arrive at your destination just a few minutes faster.

Don’t text. Distracted driving accidents are responsible for approximately 11 percent of fatal car accidents in 19 year olds and younger. Don’t text, talk on your cell, play with the radio, etc.

Don’t drink and drive. It’s not just that drinking is illegal for teens; mixing alcohol or drugs with driving can be deadly for you and those on the road around you.

What Parents Can Do

Parents play the biggest role in teaching safe driving habits to their teens. Here’s what you can do to promote safe driving:

Practice makes perfect. Make sure to give your teen plenty of driving practice with you in the car supervising.

Be an example. Obey traffic laws, don’t drive distracted, and always wear a seatbelt. Your kids are watching when you drive, and they will learn by your example.

Driving should be a privilege. Getting a driver’s license is one of the biggest milestones any teen looks forward to. But driving should be a privilege that is earned, and it’s up to you to make sure your teen is responsible enough to handle the task.

The Houston car accident attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers hope you and your family have a fun summer and stay safe on the road. However, if you are injured in an accident, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation.