Properly Educate Your Teen About Driving With These 11 Tips
by J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys | August 11th, 2020 | Recent News
While schools may be closed temporarily, teenagers and young adults are eager to go out for a drive, even if it’s just for essential purposes only. However, just the thought of having your child drive on their own can be worrisome if they are inexperienced.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), teenage drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a tragic car crash in comparison to experienced adult drivers. While this may seem concerning, now would be the perfect time to educate your child as much as you possibly can in preparation for driving on their own.
Every year around this time, the McAllen car accident lawyers of J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys usually provide a few safety tips for inexperienced teenage drivers for the upcoming school year, but given how uncertain times are right now, the following tips are just as relevant to keeping them safe while out on the road.
Emphasize the Importance of Seat Belts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total number of 2,364 teenagers ages 16 to 19 died as a direct result of a car accident in 2017, averaging a total of 6 teenage fatalities per day. In the same study, it was revealed that half of the young drivers killed (aged 15-20) were not restrained by a seat belt prior to the accident.
Additionally, in a separate study, out of 72% of drivers ages 16-18 surveyed, 17% of those teenage drivers have admitted to driving without wearing a seat belt. While these facts may be alarming, as a parent–regardless if your teenagers are driving or riding as passengers–it is your duty to emphasize just how safe seat belts keep them as they travel.
Maintain the Speed Limit
Speeding can be a major problem, not just for teenage drivers, but for all drivers across the United States.
Teenagers, however, may be more inclined to speed in order to get to their destination on time as fast as possible, either due to overconfidence in their driving skill, inexperience, or a failure to maintain a certain speed. This can be a recurring problem that can potentially escalate into a car accident.
As a parent, educating your child about essential traffic rules and matching the speed limit as much as possible can go a long way into making sure they not only stay safe on the road, but avoid costly speeding tickets as well.
Distractions, such as cell phone use while driving, horseplaying with their passenger friends, listening to loud music, and/or eating and drinking can be a problem that can lead to an unexpected car accident. In fact, texting and driving for 5-6 seconds at 55 MPH equals out to driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded!
With social media and texting playing a huge role within our children’s lives nowadays, it is vital to emphasize that no Snapchat, Instagram post, or tweet is too important to focus on while being behind the wheel.
Get Proper Amounts of Rest Before Driving
Summer nights tend to run long for teenagers and young adults alike because of late-night study sessions, video game matches, and/or series/movie binges. However, not having proper rest can cause a series of problems when driving. Their mental consciousness is not at 100%, meaning that driving while fatigued can lead your child to cause, or be involved in, a serious car accident.
Before you hand over the keys to your child, make sure they have been well-rested for at least 6-8 hours and are in a good mental state to drive in.
Have Patience With Your Child
Yes, while teaching your child how to drive might be scary or frustrating, it is vital to recognize your role as a teacher and teach your child everything they need to know in becoming a safe driver.
Additionally, as a role model, you should practice what you preach. Being a safe driver at all times, especially with your child on board, is also a great way to show proper driving safety and etiquette.
Essential Driving Tips When It’s Time to Return to Campus
Although your children might not have to worry about transit for now, it is important to teach your children about the following school traffic-related rules when they are driving to school, work, or for essentials:
- Never attempt to pass a school bus from any direction when it has come to a stop/pulled its stop sign. Also, drivers should also make a complete stop when a bus is flashing yellow or red lights.
- Stay at least 15-20 feet from the bus in order to let children exit out of the vehicle in a safe manner.
- Never block off crosswalks as it will put pedestrians in a dangerous position by forcing them to walk around your vehicle and onto incoming traffic.
- Make a complete stop once the front of your vehicle reaches the crosswalk line. If no designated crosswalk line is given,it is still your responsibility as a driver to yield for incoming pedestrians.
- Never attempt to cross another vehicle that has given the right-of-way for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and watch out for any distracted drivers or pedestrians that might get in the way.
Keep Your Teen Drivers Safe This Coming School Year and Beyond
While we encourage safe driving, the truth of the matter is that car accidents can occur at any given time for any given reason, and if they do, you need experienced legal representation to help you with associated costs placed upon you and your family through no fault of your own.
When an accident occurs as a result of a careless driver, the McAllen car accident attorneys of J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys will fight tooth and nail in order to recover the damages you need to help your loved one get their feet back on the ground.