Safety Basics For New Drivers

Car Accident Lawyer

If you are the parent of a young, inexperienced driver, it is critically important that you do not take their safety for granted. Far too often, parents assume that if their teens have completed their driver’s education requirements and passed a driver’s test that they are ready to engage the world of travel at large. In reality, teen drivers are members of the age group that is more likely than any other – including very elderly drivers – to be involved in an injurious or fatal collision.

As a result of their unique vulnerability, teens and other novice drivers must have safety information reinforced in a variety of ways so that it is more likely to “stick.” When safe driving becomes a habit, it is easier to drive defensively in ways that are effective. When unsafe habits are the default, it is almost certain that a teen will get into a crash that could end their life and/or the lives of others.

As a parent, you’re in a unique position to set an example for your teen. Even if they possess stubborn personalities that are ordinarily prone to do the exact opposite of what you say, teens are subconsciously processing what you do. So, even if they won’t listen to reason, setting an excellent example will serve them well if they ever experience a near-miss and suddenly become inclined to operate their vehicles more safely.

Maintaining Your Equipment

As an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at Council & Associates, LLC – can confirm, the general maintenance of a vehicle is a good indicator of whether it will eventually suffer damage in a crash or not. Cars that are better maintained function better and are generally safer. For example, a staggering fraction of car accidents occur only after their tires have become compromised in one way or another. By engaging your teen in regular maintenance activities, you’ll reinforce how important it is to keep your car safe.

Setting Boundaries

Hopefully, you already have strict standards in place for the use of cellphones while driving. However, these are not the only boundaries you’ll want to consider putting into place. For example, many teens are unaware that they’re legally prohibited from wearing ear buds and similar devices in both ears while driving. As a result, too many teens crash because they can’t hear the warning sounds of nearby cars honking to get their attention.

In addition to prohibiting listening devices in both ears, you’ll want to limit the number of passengers (who are peers, at minimum) who are allowed to drive with your teen at any given time. Studies show that the presence of peers is almost as distracting for new drivers as cellphone use behind the wheel.

Finally, you’ll want to institute some boundaries that guard against drowsy driving and driving under the use of substances like marijuana and cold medicine. Your teen is uniquely vulnerable to injury right now and they don’t need any influences tipping the scale away from their favor.