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Safety for teen drivers is an everyday concern

Texas parents may be concerned about safety as their teens become licensed drivers, especially with the prevalence of distracted driving incidents related to today's technology. Although a smartphone can be an important safety tool that allows a teen driver to have prompt access to help in an emergency, that same smartphone can be the cause of an accident if misused. Education is a crucial tool, which is why events such as National Teen Driver Safety Week are important. However, organizers of this event encourage parents and communities to focus on safe driving throughout the year.

2015 was a troubling year for drivers of all ages as statistics demonstrate that car accident fatalities increased by more than 7 percent after many years of decreasing numbers. Teen fatalities saw a 10 percent jump from the previous year. Experts are concerned that this trend will continue.

Particularly troubling is the fact that these deadly incidents are most commonly attributed to the choices of drivers and passengers. Poor choices range from failing to use seat belts to driving while intoxicated. Distractions can range from texting and driving to talking to passengers. Parents may help in stemming this tide of fatality accidents involving teens by having frequent discussions about the serious outcomes possible when unsafe choices are made.

Although teen drivers are responsible for their actions while behind the wheel, their parents can be held legally responsible for poor choices that lead to serious injuries. If they were aware that their young drivers had been reckless in the past but allowed them to drive the family car anyway, an attorney for an injured victim could suggest naming the parents as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit on the theory of negligent entrustment.

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