According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016 there were 40,200 fatalities as a result of motor vehicle accidents. That averages out to 110 deaths per day. While this number has been declining in recent years, the fact remains that car accidents are still one of the leading causes of death in the United States. And for parents with children who are just starting to drive, or who will be driving soon, it’s important to do everything possible to keep them safe on the road.
One way to help your kids is to educate them about the dangers of car accidents. Here are several ways you can do that.
Talk to them about the statistics
Let them know just how common car accidents are and that they are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. This will help them understand that it’s not something that only happens to other people, but that it could happen to them as well.
People usually don’t think that they can become a part of statistics like these before it’s too late. You can also share stories of people you know who have been in car accidents.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. So, it’s especially important to have this conversation with your kids if they are of driving age.
Of course, you can always show them the videos of car accidents as well but be careful not to make it seem like a horror movie because that would only desensitize them.
Different drivers and different driving styles
There are all sorts of different drivers on the road, and each one has its unique driving style. Some people are very aggressive and tend to speed and weave in and out of traffic. Others are more relaxed and take their time getting from point A to point B.
You can help your kids understand the dangers of car accidents by teaching them to be aware of the different types of drivers on the road. Explain that it’s important to stay away from aggressive drivers, truck drivers and buses, and people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It’s also important to teach your kids about the different driving styles. According to an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Dallas, truck drivers are usually more cautious because they know the potential consequences of an accident. But, you should still be aware of their blind spots and give them plenty of room to maneuver.
Explain how car accidents happen
Most kids (and adults) don’t understand how car accidents happen. They see it as something that just randomly happens without any real explanation. But if you take the time to explain the physics behind car accidents, it can help them understand why they happen and how to avoid them.
For example, you can explain that car accidents often happen because of something called the “crash triangle”. This is the area where the driver, the front seat passenger, and the steering wheel come together. If an accident happens in this area, it can be very serious because of the way the body is positioned.
You can also explain how speed and alcohol play a role in car accidents. Speed increases the force of impact, which can lead to more serious injuries. And alcohol not only impairs your ability to drive but also slows down your reaction time, which can make it more difficult to avoid an accident.
Defensive driving techniques
Certain defensive driving techniques can help you avoid car accidents. For example, you can explain that it’s usually best to avoid tailgating because it puts you at risk of rear-ending the car in front of you. And if someone is tailgating you, the best thing to do is to get out of their way.
You can also teach your kids about the importance of using signal lights when changing lanes or making turns. This will let other drivers know what you’re doing and help them avoid an accident.
It’s also important to teach your kids about the dangers of distracted driving. This can include anything from texting to talking on the phone to eating and drinking. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, so it’s important to make sure your kids are aware of the risks.
Even if your kids are the best drivers in the world, they still need to be aware of the dangers of car accidents. By teaching them about different driving styles, how car accidents happen, and defensive driving techniques, you can help them avoid becoming a statistic.