Teen Driver in The Family? What You Need to Know
For teens, learning to drive and getting their license is a major rite of passage, another step on the path to adulthood. For parents, it often means the end of having to act as their chauffeur to and from school events and outings with friends, but it can also mean nights spent up wondering when they will get home. Teaching your teen defensive driving skills and instilling the importance of safety is a top priority. Teen car accidents are a serious concern, and the following tips are designed to keep them healthy and driving happily in the years to come.
The Grim Reality of Teen Car Accidents
While getting their driver’s license is an exciting time in any teenager’s life, there is no denying the grim statistics regarding teen driving accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no greater danger that young people face. Car accidents and injuries are a leading cause of death among young people, and the biggest risks occur in the months after they finally get their license. Roughly 2,333 teens are killed each year in these accidents, while more than 220,000 others suffer serious injuries.
In addition to a general lack of experience behind the wheel and in handling different types of road, traffic, and weather conditions, teens often lack the maturity to make smart decisions, particularly if they have friends in the car. Dangerous driving behaviors they are likely to engage in include:
- Distracted driving, such as using cell phone, texting, and taking pictures while driving;
- Speeding, driving too fast for conditions, and racing other vehicles;
- Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and improper passing;
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Teaching Your Teens Safe Driving Skills
The American Automobile Association (AAA) offers numerous resources to help parents of teen drivers, including driving training courses that can help you teach your child the basics of safety. Areas you should be sure to go over thoroughly when teaching your teen to drive include:
- How to control the vehicle in a variety of situations;
- Proper seat positioning and how to adjust mirrors and other settings;
- The correct, safe way to pass other vehicles;
- How to look for visual clues that could indicate trouble ahead;
- Safety when driving on different types of roads;
- Precautions when driving at night;
- How to reduce the risk for car accidents and injuries;
- What to do in emergency situations.
It is also important to teach teens how to handle maintenance issues that could come up, such as stalling or problems with steering or brakes. Emphasize the importance of wearing seat belts, and make sure they require all passengers to do the same.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Despite taking precautions, accidents and injuries can still occur. In these situations, the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. is here to help. Contact Gregg Wexler, West Palm Beach car accident attorney to get the professional representation you need when dealing with insurance company claims. To request a consultation to discuss your case, call or contact us online today.