With traffic incidents on the rise, it can be stressful watching your teenagers head out on to busy roads, and especially if you are worried about their driving habits, still developing. It is a rite of passage though in the US and with the proper education and road training, teenagers should be equipped to travel alone before you know it. The process usually begins with a restricted license, allowing older kids to drive with another licensed driver in the passenger seat. Once they have taken the required course and passed the licensing exam, your young drivers can take on a level of independence, bolstered by having a good foundation in learning behind them.
The beginning is the best time to help your teens establish good driving habits. And while they should be book-smart on the topic too, you as the parent are most likely their most influential role model in experience. Good driving habits should include:
- Avoiding all distractions – teens can be worse than any other age group when it comes to distracted driving, and especially texting while driving. Due to inexperience with driving, they may also think they’ve got multi-tasking down to a science, whether they are engaged with passengers, fiddling with other electronics in the car, or eating or drinking. It can be hard for everyone to avoid distractions while driving but in making a point to ignore the phone while driving, for example, you are teaching your kids a valuable lesson.
- Following the speed limit – sadly, failure to follow the speed limit is still one of the greatest causes of accidents and fatalities—right up there with drinking and driving. Teaching teen drivers about cruise control and advising them to stay right at the speed limit could save not only their lives, but someone else’s too!
- Wearing a seat belt – while this is one of the most common-sense exercises in driving a car, far too many teenagers do not wear their seatbelts. They may be influenced by friends who do not, they may think seatbelts are uncool, or they may simply lack a sense of mortality as so many young people do.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs and never drive under the influence – it can be tempting to have a couple of drinks at a family dinner and then drive home, assuming you are okay—but abstinence is best if you are getting behind the wheel. Making this a hard and fast rule should have a lasting effect on your kids. Talk to them about the catastrophic dangers of driving while under the influence, along with the extreme consequences of a DUI. While there is a lot of information shared with the public regarding not drinking (or taking drugs) while driving, seeing you as a role model will make an enormous difference.
Some parents even create contracts with their older kids who are driving, discussing whether other teens can be in the car while they are traveling, as well as establishing consequences for breaking established rules. Safety must be the priority—for all drivers of all ages!
If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.