AAA Study Prompts Baltimore Attorney to Remind Mothers They Too Have Role in Teen’s Driving Habits

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Steven H. Heisler, a Maryland attorney who represents clients in personal injury cases, believes that women are too often discouraged from being an authority on their children’s driving habits.

Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney, Steven H. Heisler

A ‘no cell phone’ rule should be one of the first lessons to give your teen. Putting the cell phone away will eliminate the temptation to text while driving.

In response to new research by the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety, Maryland personal injury attorney Steven H. Heisler is calling on mothers to step in to reverse the growing trend of distracted driving accidents among teens.

The research from AAA and the University of Iowa shows that distracted driving causes 60 percent of teen crashes.

Heisler said we should dispel the myths that are still so pervasive in our society about female drivers and encourage them to become a bigger voice in shaping their teen’s driving habits.

“Unfortunately, women are so often encouraged to hand over the keys to the men in their lives, even though the statistics repeatedly show that women are safer drivers,” Heisler said. “For example, in 2014, men were responsible for 71 percent of passenger vehicle driver deaths. Men have also been shown to have much higher rates of aggressive driving, intoxicated driving and speeding.”

One particularly damaging side effect of cultural stereotypes against women is the fact that mothers are also seen as being somehow less qualified than fathers to give their teens tips on driving. It’s time for mothers to be given the respect they deserve when it comes to doling out driving safety wisdom, Heisler said.

“This is especially true for divorced mothers who are regaining their autonomy after being relegated to the role of backseat drivers by their former spouses,” Heisler said. “Maybe their ex-husband insisted on driving, or maybe their male machismo required being the expert on all things car-related.”

What are some tips that mothers can give their teen drivers for the “100 Deadliest Days,” the summer months when teens are out of school and on the roads?

Heisler says that the first priority is to get rid of the extra passengers. “It’s great to offer rides to friends, but your teen should avoid extra passengers.” Heisler said. “AAA’s study suggests that other passengers are the leading cause of distracted driving accidents among teens. If your teen is just learning to drive, remember that they should have more experience before they let friends ride along."

Mobile phones should never be in the hands of a driver. “A ‘no cell phone’ rule should be one of the first lessons to give your teen,” Heisler said. “Putting the cell phone away will eliminate the temptation to text while driving.”

We also have to teach them the importance of being sober drivers, he added. “To eliminate drunk driving among teens, we have to be realistic about the fact that some teens are going to drink,” Heisler said. “While that teen might not be your child, they might be in a group with other teens who have been drinking. Whatever the case may be, the person who has been drinking should always be relegated to the role of non-driver.”

About Steven H. Heisler, The Injury Lawyer

Since his graduation from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1988, Steven H. Heisler has focused on making a difference both in his community and for those who have suffered an injury in Maryland. For more information, please visit http://www.theinjurylawyermd.com/.

Steven H. Heisler, Esq.
The Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler
1011 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

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