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Have a Talk About Safe Driving with Your New Teen Driver


Have a Safe Driving Talk with Your Teen

Your son or daughter has just celebrated their 16th birthday. It’s a huge step to make in life as turning 16 is a right of passage to getting your driver’s license. Now that your teen has their driver’s license, and a new-found independence, it is time to talk to them about safe driving practices and the consequences of not exercising good habits when behind the wheel. It is important they understand the importance of safe driving because even when you do everything right someone else can hurt you in an accident, at which point it would be time to call an auto accident injury attorney.

What You Should Talk To Your Teen About

One of the first things your teen driver should do is a safety check, and this really goes for every driver. A safety check would cover making sure the driver, and any passengers in the vehicle are wearing their seatbelts. According to the Center for Disease Control, when compared with other age groups, teens ages 13 to 20 are the largest group of offenders when it comes to not wearing a seatbelt. Only 55% of teens reported always wearing their safety belt and of the teens that were victims in fatal car crashes 56% of them were not wearing a seatbelt. This could be step one in saving your teen from being apart of a deadly statistic. Another “to-do” on the safety checklist is checking the mirrors. Not having properly placed mirrors can result in your teen being in an at-fault accident. One final thing to cover before you start driving is getting the radio or music situation set. While it isn’t necessarily a check for safety before driving, it is better to get it figured out before getting on the road. Trying to adjust the radio is considered distracted driving and is dangerous.

What Else Should Your Teen Know

Along with the safety check, there are many other ways to practice safe driving habits. For many teens, they will drive with a group of friends in the car creating many distractions. The combination of rowdy friends and loud music is almost guaranteed to end in an auto accident. The Center for Disease Control considers teens driving with passengers as one of the eight danger zones that lead to fatal accidents among teen drivers. According to a study from the Journal of American Medical Association teens with passengers are considered high risk for fatal accidents, and that risk increases with each passenger. Encourage your teen to drive solo because friends are a dangerous distraction.

Of the many things that contribute fatal car accidents among teen drivers, one of the most prevalent factors is speed. The Center for Disease Control found teens are more likely to speed than older drivers, and are less likely to give safe distances of headway between their vehicle and another. These two factors are a recipe for disaster and it is vital that you talk to your teen about the dangers of speeding, as well as following too closely. Encourage them to develop a habit of always leaving early every time they go to get behind the wheel. The more time they have dedicated to travel the less need there is to speed.  

Talking to your teen about the dangers of driving and push your teen to develop safe driving habits could help to lower their risk of being in a fatal accident. If your teen does fall victim to other unsafe drivers be sure to contact an auto accident attorney right away.

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