For many parents, having their teenage son or daughter obtain their driver license is both a cause for celebration and worry at the same time. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of teen deaths in the United States, mostly because teen drivers lack experience behind the wheel. According to the National Safety Council, “Contrary to popular belief, teens crash most often because they are inexperienced. They struggle judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for conditions and turning safely, among other things.” To learn the facts about teen driver fatalities, visit the United States Department of Transportation’s page on National Teen Driver Safety Week.
Teaching Your Child Driver Safety
Unfortunately, a lot of teens mistakenly believe they are invincible and they tend to succumb to peer pressure. Often, this means that teens may be inclined to speed, ignore their state’s texting and driving laws, drink while driving, drive while fatigued, and they will often not wear their seatbelt because their friends aren’t wearing one, or because they’re in a car piled with too many teenagers and not enough seatbelts. Parents have to be actively involved in their teens’ driving. This starts with modeling good behaviors like always wearing a seatbelt and never texting while driving, but it also means having conversations, sometimes daily or weekly, about their teen’s safety behind the wheel. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some great pieces of advice to pass on to your teen driver immediately:
- Always wear your seatbelt and insist that passengers do the same.
- Never drink and drive.
- Never text while driving.
- Do not pick up your phone while driving. If you have to take or make a call, pull over on the side of the road.
- Never get into a car with someone who has been drinking.
- If you see an intoxicated teen trying to drive, grab their keys and arrange for a safe ride home for them.
- Do not drive while you’re exhausted. Fatigued driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs.
- Realize that many drugs interact with alcohol, and when they do, alcohol can intensify a drug’s sedating effects.
- Do not speed.
- Do not drive too fast for conditions (e.g. weather, traffic, or road construction).
- Be extra careful when there is road construction. Slow down and anticipate changes in the road or route of traffic.
- Avoid aggressive drivers; don’t try to push them or confront them. Road rage can be deadly.
- Avoid distracted driving activities like eating, drinking, texting, applying makeup, etc. as this can lead to a crash.
Next: Beware of These Driving Distractions! We hope your family finds this information useful. If you need to file a car accident claim in Plano, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation.