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Rhode Island teens' lack of experience could lead to a car crash

Karns & Kerrison

The rules of the road, including the warning not to drink or text when driving, are easy to dismiss when they are simply read in a book. However, once a teen driver is on the road, the realities of these warnings can become all too clear when a car crash occurs. It ordinarily takes teens some time to gain the experience necessary to be safe on the road.

Many Rhode Island teens say they are not texting while driving, but some still do it once they are behind the wheel. The same is true for driving under the influence. However, it is disturbing that many teens do not have an adequate understanding of what the function of a designated driver really is.

Some teens believe that the designated driver can still drink, just not as much as the rest of the group. This may help explain why nearly 25 percent of the fatal accidents involving teens are the result of driving under the influence. Organizations such as SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) urge Rhode Island parents to become more closely involved in their teens' driving safety. It is not only the words spoken by parents that influence these new drivers, but it is also the parents' actions that make a difference as well.

After a car crash, it may be too late to lecture a teen on the proper safety protocols. Doing so before even permitting a child to get behind the wheel of a car may not only save the life of someone else but of that child as well. Anyone injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party -- whether it was caused by a teenager or an older driver -- retains the right to file a civil legal claim to seek financial damages. Moreover, any separate owner the vehicle operated by the party deemed to have been at fault may be included as a defendant.

Source: ripr.org, Teens Say They Don't Text Or Drink While Driving, No author, March 19, 2014

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