If your teen got a car this holiday season, you need to know some facts about teen drivers. One of the scariest facts is that the first year driving can be one of the most dangerous years for your teen driver. Your teen driver is still learning the basics as he or she gains more experience behind the wheel. In addition, your teen driver faces many risks that he or she may not fully understand how to handle.
Therefore, educating yourself and your teen driver about the risks he or she faces is the first step in protecting your child and reducing the chance of a motor vehicle accident.
Understand the Risks a Teen Driver Faces
Motor vehicle accidents are number one cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Below are several of the risks that can increase the chance your teen driver may be involved in a motor vehicle accident, especially during the first year driving.
- Inexperienced Drivers. Experience behind the wheel reduces the risk of an accident. Regardless of how responsible a teenager may be, he or she needs times to gain experience to understand how to handle a variety of driving situations. One way you can help is to ride with your teen driver as much as possible to provide additional driving instruction.
- Passengers are a huge distraction or teen drivers. In addition, peer pressure can be overwhelming. The best way to decrease this risk is to limit the number of passengers your teen driver can have, especially during the first years of driving.
- Distracted Driving. Distracted driving is a huge problem for all drivers, but especially teen drivers who may not fully understand the dangers of distracted driving. Potential distractions for teen drivers including cell phones, loud music, passengers, eating, and applying makeup. Make sure your teen driver is aware of the dangers of distracted driving. gov has excellent resources you can use to educate your teen driver.
- Speeding – Inexperienced drivers may not be aware of how speed can increase the risk of fatalities and traumatic injuries in car accidents. Discuss the dangers of speeding with your teen driver. You may also consider installing special technology that allows you to track the driving speed for your teen driver.
- Driving Conditions – Night driving, driving on the interstate, driving in traffic, and poor weather conditions can be very challenging for a teen driver. Limit driving in these conditions until your teenager has more experience. Riding with your teen driver as he or she gains more experience in various driving conditions can help reduce the risk of an accident.
- Wearing Seatbelts. Make it a requirement that your teen driver and all passengers wear seatbelts at all times. Wearing seatbelts reduces the risk of serious injury and death in a car accident.
For more information about helping your teen driver become a safe, responsible driver, see:
- Teen Driving
- National Safety Council
- AAA Exchange
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Call A New Orleans Car Accident Attorney
If your teen driver is injured in a car accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation for damages. Call Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation.