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Hit After the Crash: How Dead Phones Lead to "Stranded Crashes"

You have told your daughter many times how to drive safely: putting her cell phone away, not eating in the car, and using her signals every time she changes lanes. You know she would call 911 if she is ever in an accident. But what if she is unable to make those calls? Would she know what to do next?

Summer is Particularly Deadly for Stranded Crashes

Unfortunately, many teens become the victims of “stranded crashes” as a result of dead cell phone batteries. It’s not hard to imagine: a teenager has been texting all day, and is driving home on Route 71 when a sudden storm rolls in. He hits a pothole and swerves off the road; he’s okay, but the car won’t turn on... and neither will his phone. He exits the car to open the hood—and is hit on the side of the road.

As harrowing as the image is, it is a very real danger to your loved ones who drive the family car. Teens may exit their cars to check the engine, flag down help, change a tire, or walk home along the highway—all of which puts them at risk of being struck by a passing driver who cannot see them.

You can protect your teen against a stranded crash by ensuring that their cell phone is always charged. Here are a few tips to share with your teenager today:

  • ALWAYS keep an extra phone charger in the car’s glove compartment.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi. This will stop the phone from searching for available networks.
  • Close all unnecessary programs running on the phone.
  • Use ring tones instead of the vibrate function (it uses less battery power).
  • If you are using your phone as a GPS device or music player, plug it in to the car charger for the duration of the journey.
  • If you cannot charge your phone in the car for any reason, turn it off while driving.

Deadly Car Batteries Also Leave Teens Stranded

A dead cell phone isn’t the only battery putting your teen at risk. AAA recently released a report saying that the volume of dead-battery calls it receives spikes during a major adverse weather event. Drivers who leave their lights on while the car is parked or to help a friend change a tire may suffer a dead car battery, often leaving them stranded during storms.

If the interior lights in the car begin to dim or flicker, make sure your teen knows to get off at the nearest exit and call for help. Feel free to share this article on Facebook or Google+ to help keep all the drivers in your family safe.

 

James Roswold
James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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