According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are far more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than drivers who are over the age of 20. While it’s too ominous to say that your teenage driver will be in an accident at some point, you should still teach them how to drive safely and what they should do if they are ever in an accident.
Make Seatbelts a Rule
Drivers are already required to wear seatbelts when they drive, but their importance cannot be stressed enough. Seatbelts can save lives in an accident, and you should make that clear to your teenager whether they’ve never been behind the wheel or they’ve been driving for a few years.
Teach Defensive Driving
You should always teach your teenager to drive defensively. Defensive driving involves keeping a safe distance from other drivers, maintaining a safe speed, never assuming that other drivers will follow the laws of the road, and staying alert at all times. Most importantly, it means not taking any chances.
Teach Your Teenager What to Do after an Accident
Since accidents can happen at practically any time, you should make sure that your teenage driver knows what to do when they are involved in an accident. They should move their vehicle to the side of the road if they are able, check to make sure there are no serious injuries, exchange insurance information with all involved parties, and speak to the police when they arrive.
Find a Good Lawyer
As with adults, teenage drivers can always benefit from a good attorney if they are in an accident. There are bound to be plenty of lawyers near you who specialize in automobile accidents and injuries, such as Speers Reuland & Cibulskis, PC so find one near you before you or your child needs one.
No Drinking, Drugs, or Texting
It’s bad enough when adults drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but it is arguably much worse when teenagers do the same. Aside from the fact that teenagers cannot legally consume alcohol, they usually have a much lower tolerance for it than adults. They cannot or should not be taught to “know their limits” when it comes to alcohol because most lack the experience to know what their limits are. Teach them not to use any drugs or alcohol if they drive. If they ever do drink and feel like they cannot drive home, they should be able to call you to pick them up.
Another activity that should always be discouraged is texting while driving. Even sending a short text forces a driver to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel, and it can have dire consequences. Teach them to leave the phone alone until they reach their destination.