Getting a driver's license is a much longed-for and anticipated moment in most teenagers' lives. However, knowing that their teenagers will be on the road soon can have the opposite effect on parents and make them fearful for their child's safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 2,500 teenagers between the ages of 13-19 died as a result of car accidents in 2018 alone, with approximately 285,000 admitted to emergency departments for car crash injuries in the same year. If your teenager experienced a car accident, we can help you recover compensation for their injuries, property damage, and the suffering they experienced under the law. Contact Labrum Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our compassionate team members: (615) 338-9500.
How Parents Can Help to Prepare a Teenager To Drive Safely
Adequately preparing a teenager to drive can save their life as well as the lives of other road users. Parents can take a number of steps to ensure that a teenager gets behind the wheel safely.
Setting a Good Example
Being a good role model when it comes to preparing a teenager to drive can be crucial for instilling the right behaviors and values. When you are on the road with your teenager, be mindful of demonstrating the correct actions and behaviors at all times, which can include but are not limited to:
- Observing and obeying speed limits
- Adjusting your speed to weather and road conditions
- Wearing a seat belt at all times
- Not following other cars too closely
- Not driving aggressively or showing road rage
- Paying full attention to the road at all times (not talking on a cell phone or texting while driving)
It can also be a good idea to refresh your own knowledge of the applicable driving laws and regulations so you can correctly answer any questions that your teen might have.
Establishing a safety routine can help to keep your teenager safe. You can prepare them for safe driving by:
- Checking the vehicle before getting inside
- Ensuring everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt
- Determining a route and adjusting the GPS before starting to drive
- Adjusting mirrors and ensuring that your teen is familiar with the car's features
- Eliminating distractions such as phones or loud music
Matching Trips to Your Teenager's Skills
Driving during bad weather such as snow and ice, or rainstorms, can be dangerous even for skilled drivers with many years' driving experience. When you consider the first trips with your teenager, do not plan on driving during rush hour and choose a day with good weather. You might also want to set off during daylight hours and practice on minor roads with slower-moving traffic before getting onto busy highways.
Choosing an Appropriate Vehicle
The most important consideration in choosing a vehicle is its safety and reliability. While it may not be a good idea to let your teenager drive a luxury vehicle or an overly powerful and fast car, make sure that the vehicle is in good working order and roadworthy. Involve your teen in all the checks that are required for operating a car safely, such as oil checks, tire pressure, and others. Before letting your child drive on their own, let them show you exactly how to operate all the key features such as mirrors, indicators, safety systems, seats, and other important features.
Making Sure Your Teenager is Adequately Insured
Knowing that your child is adequately insured can take a huge weight off your shoulders in the event of an accident. You may be better off by adding your child to your own car insurance policy as they may then be covered when borrowing family cars. With a separate car insurance policy, your teenager may not be covered for driving any other cars in the household. You should also thoroughly check the details of any insurance policies to ensure that your teenager is always covered by adequate insurance. Start looking into insurance policies before your teenager gets their learner's permit so there is enough time to decide what is best for your family's circumstances.
Even with all the best intentions, car accidents sometimes still occur. In some cases, another negligent driver may be responsible for your teenager's injuries, suffering, and expenses. If a driver on the roadway negligently caused your teenager's accident, they could be entitled to compensation for any economic or non-economic losses. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Labrum Law Firm for legal advice today.
Common Accident and Injury Causes
In order to fully prepare your teenager for driving, you should discuss the most common causes for teenage car accidents with them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some of the common reasons for injuries and deaths in car accidents involving teenagers include:
- Distracted driving (texting and driving, talking on a cell phone while driving, eating, drinking, or smoking while driving)
- Intoxicated driving
- Not wearing a seatbelt
What You Can Do as a Parent
The best course of action is to have an honest and open conversation with your teenager about the main reasons for car accidents and how to avoid certain behaviors and dangers. Being a good role model and setting boundaries with your teen can go some way to prevent dangerous and reckless behaviors that potentially endanger their lives as well as the lives of others'.
Remind your teenager to pay full attention to the road at all times, and to never text and drive or drive while intoxicated. Consider also that sometimes it is not your teenager but others that may be drinking and driving, putting your child's health and life at risk. Explain the dangers of getting into a car with an intoxicated driver and encourage your teenager to call you or a taxi to pick them up if they have no safe option for getting home.
We Can Fight for Your Rights
Unfortunately, despite parents' efforts to prepare a teenager to drive, tragic and avoidable accidents do happen. In some cases, a teenager may have done everything right but becomes the victim of a drunk, speeding, or otherwise reckless driver. If this has happened to your teen, contact Labrum Law Firm as soon as possible. We can protect your legal rights and potentially help you get justice and compensation. We are committed to helping victims of negligent drivers receive the compensation that they deserve. Contact the compassionate attorneys at Labrum Law Firm now for legal advice and assistance at (615) 338-9500.