Tips for preventing teen distracted driving in Oregon

There are several rules parents can put in place to prevent their teen from driving unsafely due to cellphone use and other distractions.

Distracted driving is a serious problem that injures and takes the lives of many in Oregon and the rest of the country every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the U.S., over 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving collisions and approximately nine people are killed. Younger drivers are also more likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents, and drivers under the age of 20 have the highest rate of involvement in collisions like these.

Since distraction leads to so many car accidents, especially among younger drivers, parents of teen drivers may be concerned about their child's safety behind the wheel. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take and rules they can set to reduce their child's chances of involvement in a distraction-related collision.

Limit passengers

The Students Against Destructive Decisions organization states that for every additional teen passenger in a vehicle, the risk of getting into a car accident increases. To limit distraction, it is recommended that new teen drivers not have any passengers in the car with them while they are driving for at least the first year after licensure. Parents should also not let their child ride in a vehicle with a new teen driver.

Rule out cellphone use

Cellphone use is one of the most hazardous forms of distraction, and one that teenagers often struggle with even though they are the most inexperienced drivers on the road. Parents should ban their child from talking, texting or using their cellphone in any way while they are driving. Parents should also let their child know that if they have to use their cellphone while they are driving, they should pull over to a safe place, park their car and use the phone there.

Manage music safely

In addition to cellphone use, playing music to loudly or switching the radio station can endanger a teen's ability to drive safely. Parents should encourage their children to select their music choice before they start driving and to leave it until they are parked and able to change the radio safely.

Reach out to an attorney

Although many teens are cautious about avoiding distractions while behind the wheel, others in Oregon are not as diligent. Those who were involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver should contact an attorney in their area for assistance asserting their legal rights to fair and proper compensation.