Many parents recall that the moment their child was born — while exhilarating — was a terrifying experience. However, no parental horror can quite be matched by the moment when they first get their hands on a set of car keys. Not only are teen drivers out and about on their own, but they’re behind the wheel of a two-ton behemoth that goes 80 mph or more!
Having a teen who’s started driving can be scary, but parents should always remember to be proactive rather than reactive. The more they instill good habits and enforce boundaries, the less likely it is that their teen will commit a major mistake that sees them on the side of the road.
And, remember parents, it’s not always young drivers’ faults when an accident occurs. If your child or someone else in your family has been hurt in a wreck, you should always investigate whether another driver’s negligence is to blame. Auger & Auger can help you determine fault, estimate damages, and seek the highest amount of compensation available for your situation.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a car accident lawyer near you when you call (800) 559-5741 or contact us online.
5 Safety Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers
There’s a good reason parents should be concerned about their teen drivers. According to statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers ages 16 – 20 are 1.5 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Young male drivers have an even higher fatal accident rate that’s nearly twice that of the national average across all ages.
But knowing about the problem is different than doing something about the problem. Parents concerned about their teen’s driving safety can use the following tips and good habits in order to reduce the risk of an accident, injuries, or other mishaps.
Enroll Your Teen in a Driver’s Education Program
Driver’s ed classes reiterate the importance of safe driving techniques in all aspects of life. They show teens the consequences of carelessness, and they provide tips for helping them prepare for unfamiliar situations. Hands-on driver’s ed also gives them real-world “trial by fire” experience. They’ll learn maneuvers like highway merging, inner-city driving, parallel parking, and more.
Best of all, their certification will earn you a discount on the pricy cost of insuring your teen driver.
Focus on Not Getting Distracted
Your teen should not be using their smartphone in any capacity other than navigation during driving. Even talking using a hands-free device can be distracting, increasing their risk of a collision.
Develop good habits to keep your teen focused on driving, not eating, drinking, changing the radio, or above all else texting. And, make sure you set a good example, parents! Practice what you preach during every ride to show teens that focused driving is the only right way to be safe.
Say No to Passengers
Studies on teen accidents show that the most distracting thing in a vehicle isn’t their phone or the radio: it’s other teens. Having just a single passenger increases a teen driver’s risk of a collision by 44%, says the National Safety Council. That risk increases with each additional passenger.
Other studies show that teens are more likely to speed, run traffic signals, or commit to other dangerous behaviors when peers are present. So set firm ground rules about giving rides and carpooling, especially for those first few sensitive months.
Watch Out for Driving at Night and in Bad Weather
A teen can excel at normal daytime driving only to feel helpless when the weather turns bad or the sun goes down. “17 percent of teenagers’ fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight,” says Consumer Reports, “and 24 percent occurred between midnight and 6 a.m.”
Limit nighttime driving, and watch the weather report to keep your teen prepared. If at all possible, offer alternative transportation any time the weather threatens to be severe. And, if your teen has to drive, make sure they’re aware of added risks — like reduced braking, hydroplaning, and low visibility — and to adjust their habits accordingly.
Keep Their Car in Shape
It’s not uncommon for the newest driver in the family to get the oldest car, but parents should be sure they aren’t sacrificing safety for the economy. Always have the vehicle maintained regularly, including brake checks, oil changes, and general safety inspections.
Make Sure Your Teen Knows Their Rights in the Event of a Car Accident
Teens should always know exactly what to do after a car accident. This includes reporting the accident, avoiding admissions of fault, and seeking medical attention as soon as possible — even if they don’t immediately feel hurt.
Hiring a car accident lawyer can ensure that all legal factors of the case are considered, including who have may actually be at fault. In many instances, if your teen driver carries partial blame they may still be eligible to recover compensation for their medical bills and other accident losses.
Call Auger & Auger after your teen or anyone else in the household is affected by a collision. We are available for free consultations when you call (800) 559-5741 or contact us online.