Tips to Help Teenagers Drive Safely and Reduce Their Accident Risks
Receiving a driver’s license is a rite of passage for teenagers. After the grueling drivers’ education courses and anxiety-driven tests, a three-by-two–inch card can validate a child’s hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, what this small piece of plastic can’t do is magically give that teenager the experience and intuition that comes with being a long-term safe driver. Therefore, as a parent, it’s up to you to emphasize the risks of driving negligence and the importance of defensive driving.
Teenage Driving Risks and Safety Tips
If you have a teenage driver in the family—whether he’s just starting to drive or has been driving for a few years—you need to ensure that he knows that his actions have consequences. Despite the fact that, as a teenager, he probably believes that he knows everything about everything, you need to overlook his overconfidence in order to protect him as well as his fellow motorists.
When discussing safety, make sure to touch on the following:
- Speeding. Speeding is a common safety violation for teenagers. Teen drivers don’t have the experience to judge safe driving speeds, and they tend to be a little heavy-footed as a result of adrenaline. You need to make sure your teenager understands that speeding is the number one cause of drivers’ losing control of their vehicles.
- Drinking and driving. Your teenager shouldn’t be drinking or taking performance-altering drugs in the first place, but if for some reason he becomes intoxicated, he needs to know that he can’t drive. Assure him that if he ever does get in this type of situation, that he shouldn’t be scared to call you for a ride. Although you may be upset with his choices, fear of a scolding should never outweigh the fear of a DUI accident.
- Driving while distracted. All teenagers have rather short attention spans. They honestly can’t help it…and that’s understandable. However, despite their predisposition for distractions, they need to realize that they can’t afford to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, or their minds off the task at hand while driving. There is no text, phone call, or situation that’s important enough to jeopardize their safety or the safety of those around them for even a second. Make sure your teenage driver has a clear understanding that when she’s driving, the only thing that matters is getting to her destination safely.
- Driving defensively. As a new driver, a teenager should never take risks. Taking a chance to pass a slow driver by steering between oncoming trucks should not be an option your teen considers. Emphasize the importance of following traffic signs and rules, as well as giving other drivers the courtesy and patience they deserve. Also, remind him that he is the newcomer on the road; just because he has his driver’s license, that doesn’t mean he has a license to be irresponsible.
But Teens Are Not Always in the Wrong
There’s an automatic presumption that, if a traffic accident involves a teenager, then the teen must have been responsible. Not so! Only careful investigation can determine who is liable for a traffic wreck, and teenagers are often the victims when other drivers are negligent.
For more information about teenage driver liability and accident protection, you should contact an experienced, local attorney, like Steve Lee, as soon as possible. You can schedule a FREE consultation at a time that is convenient for you by calling our office, starting a live chat, or by filling out our contact form. We look forward to helping you understand your or your child’s rights when it comes to a teenage accident.