How to Help Your Teen Be a Safer Driver
Fatality rates in teen car accidents have dropped steadily since the 1970s, yet this demographic is still three times more likely to crash per mile than adults. If your teen is involved in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, contact an experienced Savannah auto accident lawyer for legal help. Though parents have been concerned about their teens driving since the invention of the car, the rise in distracted driving—in large part due to smart devices—has made this concern even greater. Help your teen be a safer driver by following these basic guidelines.
Mandate a Safe Driving Course
Though driving’s training courses are not mandatory in Georgia, many high schools offer them. Having your teen go through this process is a good idea; it will reinforce what they have learned from driving at home and can lower their insurance rate, depending on the insurance company. In addition to these courses are online driver safety course. These take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to complete and can be done right from your home computer, distraction-free. Talk with your teens about what they have learned to ensure they are on the right track.
Choose a Safe Car
Today’s cars come with a bevy of safety features, but you may not want your teen starting off driving in a newer car. When you are choosing a car for your teen or a family car your teen can driver, research thoroughly before choosing one. Kelley Blue Book has ratings on most models of used cars, as does Consumer Reports.
Choose one with high ratings when it comes to side and front impact crashes. Some cars even come with features that ensure your teen is driving with their seatbelt on at all times. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has suggestions for top safety picks and ratings for just about any model on the market.
Implement Your Own System
Most states have graduated driving systems, which means teens are given increased levels of responsibility before they ultimately earn the right to drive. Teens must log a certain number of driving hours before they earn a learner’s permit, and teen drivers have a limit on the number of passengers they can have in their cars. A few other rules you might consider are:
- Limit night driving. Explain to your teens the danger of night driving and that perhaps they should wait to do this until they have more practice.
- Continue to supervise some of your teens’ driving, even after they get a license. Take them on the highway and talk them through difficult driving situations until they are comfortable in the car.
- Avoid teen carpooling. It may be tempting to let teens carpool and drive together, but teens often distract each other. Until they have a bit more experience, teens should drive on their own or with an adult.
Keep an Open Dialogue
Talk to teens about the dangers of distracted driving, from texting and talking to riding with friends. Set clear expectations and follow through when they break the rules. Do not be afraid to take the keys away if they are not attending to their safety.
Most importantly, be a good role model. If you expect your teen to abstain from distracted driving, take steps to minimize distractions yourself. Put away your cell phone, avoid putting on makeup or grooming, and keep your eyes on the road. Your teen still models your behavior and takes stock in what you say.
Has Your Teen Been in an Accident?
Despite our best intentions, our teens can still be involved in accidents. If your teen has been in an accident—regardless of fault—it may be in your best interest to discuss the situation with a skilled attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Roden and Love to set up a free initial consultation. We will review the specifics of your case and help you decide on the best course of action. Our Savannah injury attorneys have extensive combined successful experience handling all different types of injury and accident cases throughout the state of Georgia.