Teaching your teen how to drive can be exciting and nerve-wracking. You knew this day would come, but you just want them to be safe. Car accidents are a very real risk. But there are things you can do to help your teen prevent accidents and hopefully lower their risk. Read below for more information on that. We also look at some of the statistics related to accidents in our state, to provide a picture of just how prevalent crashes are. Sklare Law Group is committed to providing Chicago residents with information about accident risk and what to do in the aftermath of a crash.
Chicago Crash Statistics
For the year 2016, which is the latest year with an annual report from the Illinois Department of Transportation, consider these statistics:
- 324,473 motor vehicle crashes in the state
- About 889 traffic accidents occurred each day
- 20.5 percent of these crashes resulted in injury
- Over 10 people per HOUR were injured in accidents
- Less than 1 percent of crashes (about 1,000) resulted in death
- About three people were killed in motor vehicle accidents each day
- Accidents involving pedestrians made up 1.5 percent of all accidents
- Speeding was one of the leading causes of Illinois accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers age 12-19 in the US, making up about one-third of total teen deaths.
These sobering statistics may feel alarming, but it's important to get the full picture of accidents in our state. Plus there's good news on the Illinois teen driving front:
In October, 2017, the Chicago Tribune reported that teen driving deaths had fallen to half of what they were a decade earlier, in 2007, which is great news. As parents and guardians of young adults learning to drive, let's continue teaching them responsible driving skills and habits. The Tribune reported that 76 teens had been killed in Illinois car wrecks in 2016, which involved kids age 16-19. State officials largely credited the drop in fatalities to the state's 2008 graduated licensing laws. These laws tripled how long a teen must drive with a learner's permit, and limited how many passengers and how many passengers under age 20 can be in the vehicle with the teen driver.
What to Teach Your Teen About Driving
Summer vacation is a great opportunity to teach your teen how to drive. With greater flexibility in their schedule, and no homework, your teen will have more time to focus on learning how to drive.
The basics. Basic skills remain an important foundation for safer driving:
Addressing inexperience. Inexperience is a major cause of teen driving accidents. And while you can't do anything about the limited amount of time your teen has been behind the wheel, you can be at their side while they encounter a variety of driving environments, which will help them get some of this valuable experience. Make sure you have them practice driving in all kinds of scenarios:
- Rural and urban roads
- Driving at night
- Driving on wet roads
- Driving in the rain
- Highways, interstates, neighborhoods and city streets
It's best to gradually work up to the more complex situations. To start, begin with driving in low-risk, calm scenarios on less-busy roads.
Lead by example. Studies have shown that teen drivers tend to emulate the driving behavior of their parents. Leading by example can instill safer driving habits. Don't text, drive distracted or drive aggressively. Make a point of remaining calm and obeying all signals, signs and rules of the road.
Limit underage passengers. A 2012 AAA study found that crash risk increased with the number of young adult passengers in the vehicle. While your teen is using a graduated driver's license, Illinois law allows only one passenger under 20 for the first year of driving. Exceptions are made for family members.
Arrange a Consultation with our Lawyers
If you or a family member has been involved in an accident caused by someone else's carelessness, then you may be owed compensation for your injuries. For a free case review with our experienced Chicago accident attorneys, please call Sklare Law Group at 312-263-0771.