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9 Teen Driving Safety Tips
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Ensuring your teenager’s safety when they get behind the wheel is important. Their safety on the road is paramount, and arming them with the right knowledge and skills is crucial.

As a legal attorney with nearly a decade of experience in teen driving cases, I recognize the significance of ensuring their safety and providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills.

In this article, we’ll discuss essential teen driving safety tips that will keep your teenager safe.

Quick Summary

  • Set rules for teenage drivers to limit passengers, restrict the age and prohibit electronic device use.
  • Enroll teens in a driver’s education course and safe driver program to increase road safety awareness.
  • Discuss the dangers of drug/alcohol use with adolescents and be a good role model by following safe driving practices.

9 Tips for Teen Drivers

A female teenager driving a carBecoming a responsible driver requires various strategies that every teenager should adopt. Incorporating these guidelines can significantly diminish the chances of your teen getting involved in motor vehicle crashes.

Remember that inexperienced teen drivers are more prone to fatal crashes due to immaturity, lack of skills, and experience.

A parent must provide support, guidance, and supervision to help your teen develop safe driving skills and habits.

1. Avoid Passengers

Research has indicated that teen drivers are likelier to engage in hazardous practices when driving with teenage companions, especially during night driving [1].

This can lead to distractions, impaired decision-making, and slower reaction times, which increase the risk of a fatal crash.

2. Enroll Your Teen In A Drivers Education Course

Driver education courses equip teens with the knowledge and skills required for safe driving practices and adherence to road laws.

These programs are designed to teach adolescents the road rules and help them become competent drivers.

3. Enroll Your Teen In A Safe Driver Program

An instructor grading his student driving

In addition to driver education courses, enrolling your teen in a safe driver program offers numerous advantages, such as:

  • Enhanced driving abilities
  • Heightened awareness of road safety
  • Decreased risk of accidents
  • Decreased risk of motor vehicle injuries
  • Reduced insurance premiums

These programs teach teens important defensive driving techniques, such as hazard recognition, proper vehicle handling, and avoiding distractions, which can help them become better drivers and reduce the risk of accidents [2].

Many insurance companies offer discounts to teens who have completed a safe driver program. Enrolling in such a program can make your teen a safer driver and potentially lower car insurance premiums.

4. Enroll Your Teen In A Graduated Drivers License Program

A teenager who had her graduated drivers licenseGraduated driver’s license (GDL) programs recognize the importance of driver education and allow novice drivers to gain experience under adult supervision and protection.

These programs gradually introduce teens to more complex driving situations through a structured licensing process with three stages, each with its provisions and restrictions.

Participation in a GDL program will allow your teen to gain the experience and maturity needed to become a safer driver, thus reducing the risk of car accidents.

“Driver education begins when your children are young, not when they get their learner’s permit, a driver’s license, or a driver safety course. As a parent, you can keep your children safe by modeling what good driving looks like.”
Allen L. Rothenberg, Attorney and Founder of The Rothenberg Law Firm

5. Discuss the Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use

Talking to your teenager about the dangers of drug and alcohol use is crucial in preventing impaired driving and its consequences.

The potential repercussions of violating the law by driving while intoxicated may include incarceration, revocation of their driver’s license, and numerous other expenses such as legal fees, court costs, and increased insurance premiums.

Furthermore, adolescents may also lose academic eligibility, college acceptance, and scholarship awards.

6. Be A Good Role Model

A parent being a good role model for drivingAs a parent, modeling safe driving behaviors is vital to influence your teenager’s driving habits positively.

Studies have shown that 41% of adolescents state that their parents continue to engage in hazardous driving practices despite being asked to stop [3].

Setting a good example can help your teenager develop safe driving habits that will last a lifetime.

Related Article: Is Brake Checking Illegal?

7. Make Seat Belt Use Mandatory

Seat belts are a crucial safety feature that can save lives and prevent serious injuries in car accidents.

Studies have shown that seat belts can reduce the likelihood of death and serious injury by half. Making seat belt use mandatory reduces teenagers’ risk of fatalities and injuries in car crashes.

8. Avoiding Distractions

A teen driving her car while avoiding distractionsDistracted driving is a leading cause of teenage accidents, as it reduces focus, impairs decision-making, and slows reaction times.

Some common distractions include using a cell phone, eating, adjusting the radio, and conversing with passengers.

Talk to your teenager about the importance of staying focused while driving.

Discuss strategies for minimizing distractions, such as turning off their cell phones, setting the radio before driving, and limiting conversations with passengers.

Related Article: Using Headphones While Driving

9. Obeying Speed Limits

A road signage showing a speed limit

Speeding is a significant safety concern for adolescents. In 2021, it was a factor in 32% of passenger vehicle teen drivers (15-18 years old) involved in deadly collisions [4].

Driving at excessive speeds can lead to:

  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Reduced maneuverability
  • Greater stopping distance
  • Higher likelihood of severe accidents

Emphasizing the importance of obeying speed limits can help teenagers reduce the risk of high-speed crashes and fatalities.

Encourage your teenager to always adhere to posted speed limits and discuss the potential repercussions of speeding, such as fines, points on their license, and increased insurance premiums.

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FAQ

Are Teen Drivers At Higher Risk?

Teen drivers are at a higher risk for car accidents due to their inexperience, immaturity, and susceptibility to distractions and peer pressure, especially when they have teen passengers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the crash rate for 16-19-year-olds is higher than any other age group.

What Are The Causes Behind Teen Driver Crashes?

The causes behind teen crashes include inexperienced drivers, lack of education, speeding, distractions, and failure to scan their surroundings. Other factors contributing to teen driver crashes include impaired driving, lack of seat belt usage, and nighttime driving.

If your teenage driver has been involved in a car crash, seeking legal advice can be invaluable in navigating the situation and protecting your rights.

A knowledgeable attorney at Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help you understand your options, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Our attorneys can assist in gathering evidence, assessing liability, determining damages, and guiding you through the legal process, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

For further assistance and to discuss how our attorneys can help you, don’t hesitate to contact Schmidt & Clark.


References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7291622/
  4. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving#:~:text=SPEEDING,old)%20involved%20in%20fatal%20crashes.

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