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Is it time to strap in and discuss seat belt use with your teen?

As a parent, you may have looked forward to many milestones that your children have reached and will continue to reach throughout their lives. One such event that may have caused you some apprehension is when your teenager and his or her friends became old enough to drive. Though this time in your child's life can offer much excitement, you certainly know that inexperienced drivers can face and pose many dangers on the roads.

You may have done what you could to teach your child to drive safely. Though your teen may have had the driving skills to pass the driving test and obtain a license, you may still worry about his or her safety when behind the wheel or when he or she is a passenger in a friend's vehicle. One particular safety measure of which you may wish to remain particularly aware is seat belt use.

Seat belt use and teens

Unfortunately, numerous teenagers may forgo putting on a seat belt when in a vehicle. Though many teen drivers are guilty of this safety oversight, reports indicate that teen passengers are even less likely to use a seat belt. Of course, you may want to remember that passengers of all ages use seat belts less often than drivers, so even your older loved ones could face safety risks if they choose not to buckle up.

You may also find it disheartening to know that when involved in fatal crashes, two out of every four teens did not have on seat belts. However, on an optimistic side, statistics indicate that teenagers appear to use their seat belts more often than in the past.

Why wear seat belts?

Though you may know the importance of wearing a seat belt, you may need to explain this importance to your child. Some information you may wish to provide includes:

  • Buckling up helps prevent ejection from vehicles
  • Air bags will not as effectively protect someone without a seat belt
  • Getting thrown into an air bag as it ejects could result in serious or fatal injuries
  • A seat belt acts as the best form of protection when in a vehicle

You may have the responsibility of making sure your teen uses a seat belt when driving, but your child has the responsibility of making sure his or her passengers buckle up as well.

Do you have an injured teen?

Even with the best precautions taken, your child could still suffer serious injuries in a car accident. If another driver is considered at fault for the incident, you may have cause to file a personal injury claim on behalf of your child to seek compensation for medical expenses and other losses. You may want to remember, however, that seat belt use could potentially impact any damages awarded in such a case.

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