Your child’s safety is your number one priority every time your teen gets behind the wheel. Having a conversation with your teen about driving safety can potentially prevent an accident from occurring, and can protect your child as well as the other drivers on the road. Accidents involving teen drivers often occur when the young driver is inexperienced or distracted. When the time comes, sit down with your teen and discuss these important safety tips with your newly licensed driver.
Tip #1: Put the Phone Away
Cell phone use while driving is not only illegal, it’s dangerous. Distracted driving can lead to an accident or potentially fatal crash. Remind your teen of the dangers of texting while driving. Selfies, music selections, and GPS assistance can all result in your child taking their eyes off the road long enough to put themselves and others in danger.
Tip #2: Buckle up
Your child’s seat belt is the first line of defense should an automobile accident occur. While it may seem obvious, the majority of drivers 16-20 years old have admitted to driving without a seat belt restraint at the time of their car accident. If possible, remind your child daily to buckle up!
Tip #3: Drinking & Driving Kills
Under no circumstances should your child be drinking and driving. It’s no secret that drinking and driving kills. A young driver is 17 times more likely to die in an automobile accident if they have been drinking. California law has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 with alcohol in their system. Have a conversation about the dangers of drinking and driving with your child before they have a chance to make this potentially fatal mistake.
Tip #4: Limit Your Passengers
When your child first begins driving, the fewer the number of distractions the better. Extra passengers could mean extra distractions. Be clear about the rules with your child regarding friends and extra passengers in the car while driving.
Tip #5: Enforce a Driving Curfew
Research shows that when parents create and enforce a driving curfew, the risk of traffic violations and crashes decreases. Make a clear driving curfew with your child that is consistent and will keep them off the roads late at night.
Having a conversation with your children about driving safety is important, but it shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Be vocal about your expectations involving your teens driving and always be a constant reminder for them about the dangers of distracted driving and drinking and driving.
For over three decades, expert Santa Clarita auto accident attorneys, Owen, Patterson & Owen have been specializing in car accident cases and have helped thousands of auto accident victims. If your teen has recently been involved in an automobile accident, or if you have questions about driving safety, feel free to contact us or give us a call at 800-676-5295.