As a parent, having your child driving out on the Texas roads can be a terrifying thing. It is normal to feel wary about having your child out on the roads, after all, car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is extremely important that your child not only knows how to practice safe driving but understands why they need to practice the safe driving guidelines. Keep reading to learn some tips on keeping your teen driver safe on the road.
- Ensure your teen understands the risk
One of the reasons teens are more careless drivers is simply because they don’t understand the risks. While you shouldn’t address the matter with the intention to scare them, you should make sure they know the risk. Give them the facts. Inform them that:
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States,
- Teen drivers are almost 3 times as likely to be a fatal car crash per mile driven,
- Studies have shown the risk is especially high in the first few months of driving, and
- Male teens are at a higher risk than female drivers.
Be open and honest with your teen and begin talking about safe driving early on to help enforce safe driving habits for the future.
- Make sure your teen has a lot of practice
Make sure that your teen practices as much as they can with you there, so you can observe their driving and ensure they are developing safe driving habits. Experience is key to safe driving so the more hours they practice the better. Make sure they practice in different driving environments, different roads, different times of the day, in different weather, and in different traffic conditions.
- Explain the importance of wearing a seat belt
You should emphasize the importance of wearing a seat belt from a young age. Inform your child of the risks of not wearing a seatbelt, and remind them they are not invincible (as many teen mindsets tend to think things won’t happen to them).According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 50% of people ages 13 to 20 who died in car crashes in a given year were not wearing a seat belt. Give your teen the facts and reinforce this rule often.
- Explain the risk of speeding
Explain and emphasize the high risks of speeding. For example, 36% of teen drivers in fatal car accidents in 2014 were speeding. Tell your child how much higher their chances are of being involved in a fatal car crash when they are driving over the speed limit.
- Talk to your teen about drinking and driving
Be open with your teen about drinking and driving and the risks. Communication is key and it is important that your child feels like they can approach you on these sorts of topics. Come to an agreement with your child that they will never drink and drive and emphasize the dangers.
- Limit the number of passengers your teen drives with
For a teen driver, with each additional passenger, the risk of being in an accident goes up. Enforce the rule that your teen drives alone until they have enough experience, and when they do, limit it to one passenger.
- Keep an eye on your teen’s texting habits and emphasize the importance of staying off their phones while driving
Make sure your child understands the risk of looking down for even a couple seconds to read or reply to a text. You should enforce the rules of no phones while driving, even at stop signs and red lights. Consider looking into safe texting apps that discourage texting while driving. Any Dallas personal injury law firm will emphasize the importance of this law as it counts against a driver immensely in car accident cases.
- Be a good role model
Children and teens look to their parents to learn behavior, and they will be more likely to practice safe driving if they see you doing it yourself. Avoid any distractions while driving, including eating, drinking, and talking on the phone while driving. Always wear your seatbelt and practice driving the way you would want your child to.
Keeping your child safe on the roads starts with practicing safe driving yourself, however, accidents are not always avoidable. If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident, you may need the help of a trusted personal injury lawyer in Dallas. Here at Rad Law Firm, our experienced team can help. Contact us today for a consultation.