According to the National Safety Council, approximately half of all teenagers will experience an automobile accident before they graduate high school. Some of them will away. Others will suffer severe injury or fatality. Thankfully, parents can minimize their child’s risk by staying involved. The following provides information on how to keep your teen safe while on the road.
Continue Riding with Your Teen
Statistics indicate that teens who continue driving with their parents in the car are less likely to experience a crash than those who have little to no driving time with an adult after obtaining their license. There may be several reasons for this, like teens being less likely to engage in risky behavior if they have a parent in the car, and more practice time with an experienced adult. Whatever the reason, the reduced risk makes spending time in the car together well worth the effort.
Enforcing Rules When Driving on Their Own
Parents should also enforce strict driving rules for teens, and they should have clear consequences if the teen directly violates those rules. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration specifically suggests that parents prohibit speeding, alcohol use, cell phones while driving, extra passengers, and a strict adherence to seatbelt use. The consequences are completely up to you, of course, but you should be sure that they highly discourage risky behavior behind the wheel.
Modeling the Behaviors for Your Teen
When it comes to safe driving, parents should avoid the “do as I say, not as I do” concept. Instead, model the behavior you want to see in your teens, especially when they are in the car with you. Do not use your phone while driving, even at stoplights. Avoid speeding, always wear your seatbelt, and never drive while intoxicated. Further, you might consider pointing out situations that are problematic while driving with your teen. Have them do some critical thinking when the two of you see a car full of teenagers and ask them why they think it might be dangerous. You might not want to harp on it too often, but the act of critically thinking can encourage your teen to think carefully about the decisions they make while driving.
If an Accident Does Happen
Part of the reason that teens are so prone to accident is that they are less experienced than adults. They may be less able to maneuver out of dangerous situations, may overcompensate, or lack the same defensive driving skills that adults have. Though this does not inherently make them at fault when an accident does occur, insurance companies may try to use this lack of experience against them to minimize any compensation you or your teen may be owed. Protect them with help from a seasoned personal injury lawyer.
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we believe there are good teen drivers who act responsibly behind the wheel. Their accidents should be compensated the same as any other adult’s would have in the same situation. Our dedicated Will County personal injury lawyers will protect their rights and we will fight aggressively to get your family the settlement you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today to learn more. Call 815-726-9200.