One of your teenager’s biggest milestones in life is getting their driver’s license. This is often exciting for teens but can be concerning for parents. To help your child be protected on the road and prevent them from getting into potential car accidents, you’ll need to educate them on some safe driving strategies.
Enforce Ground Rules Around Distracted Driving
Unfortunately, distracted driving is common among teen drivers. Make them aware that any kind of distraction can result in a car accident and even a fatality. Teens may dismiss the concern, so it’s important to have strict rules (and consequences) to prevent distracted driving.
You may want to specifically address the following distracted driving behaviors:
- Using their phone, including texting, changing music, watching videos, playing games or using other apps
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming, such as combing their hair or applying makeup
- Chatting distractedly with fellow passengers, especially their peers
- Daydreaming or being lost in thought
Beyond distracted driving, it’s also a good idea to communicate rules that prohibit your teen from driving while intoxicated, tired or under the influence of drugs.
Always Use Mirrors and Turn Signals
Using mirrors and turn signals is crucial for safe driving, but these are two things teens often skip. Be sure to explain to your teen the importance of staying aware of their surroundings and communicating their intentions to other drivers.
Have them practice frequently glancing quickly at the side and rearview mirrors so they can see what’s happening around them. Aside from other vehicles, they should look for pedestrians, bicyclists or wildlife to help prevent accidents, especially when changing lanes or turning.
Make sure they also always understand that using their turn signals alerts others on the road to their upcoming movements. This can reduce the risk of an accident because it allows other drivers to adjust their speed or position on the road, rather than making sudden turns or lane changes that catch other drivers off guard.
Keep Your Distance
Tailgating a vehicle is annoying, but it’s also potentially dangerous, especially on the highway when people are driving at higher speeds. If the driver in front of you stops suddenly, it’s critical to have enough room between you and the car ahead of you so you can stop without crashing into them.
Your teen should understand why keeping their distance from the vehicle in front of them can prevent an accident. A good general rule is to have one car length between vehicles for every 10 miles per hour, which means you’d leave 6 car lengths between vehicles if you’re going 60 mph.
Teen Car Accident? Speak With an Experienced Attorney
Sometimes you and your child can do everything right when it comes to driving safety, but accidents can still happen. If your teen is in an accident, we’re here to help. Ted B. Lyon & Associates can provide you with personalized legal services and help you understand your rights.