Practical Ways You Can Help Your Teen Avoid a Car Accident
Parents know that, despite their best efforts to raise safe drivers, teens are sometimes going to make poor choices behind the wheel. However, you may be able to help your son or daughter avoid a wreck by opening the conversation as soon as your child is old enough to learn to drive. While it may seem like there’s a lot to cover, it doesn’t have to be a long or difficult lecture. According to the National Safety Council, it really boils down to addressing two major issues with new drivers.
Setting the “Rules of the Road” in Your Family
Teens learn about Illinois traffic laws as they study for their licenses, but don’t forget that you can also set your own rules at home. Think about how you want your new drivers to handle temptations behind the wheel, such as responding to text messages, and what your expectation are when they have the keys. Once you and your teens have agreed on the rules, have them sign a “new driver deal.” Make sure you establish what the consequences are if the rules are broken, and talk about how to handle unexpected events on the road.
Not sure what to include in your household rules? Take a look at some examples of safe-driving rules for teens.
Driver Inexperience Increases the Chances of a Wreck
Teens are more often involved in car accidents at least in part because they don’t have a lot of experience as drivers. Teens can panic or become overwhelmed on the road, especially in unfamiliar places or conditions. They may be more likely to take unnecessary risks, either as drivers or passengers, or they may be slow to react to other drivers’ actions on the road. However, the good news is that putting in some extra practice hours can help teens overcome the risks of inexperience. Here are some things parents can do:
- Give your teen regular time to practice driving, whether alone or with you there to help. Make sure your teen knows how to drive in all kinds of situations, on all kinds of road, and in all kinds of weather.
- Even if their phones are out of sight, inexperienced teens can also be distracted by other people in the car. Until your son or daughter feels safe and confident while driving, consider limiting the number of passengers allowed.
- Initially, consider restricting driving time to daylight hours. It’s a scary statistic, but the fatal crash rate for 16-year-olds doubles at night.
Although it’s hard to think about, too many teens are hurt or killed in car accidents each year. While your young driver may follow the rules faithfully, you can’t always count on the safe choices of other drivers. If your child has been seriously hurt in a wreck, don’t hesitate to call our legal team at 312-332-1400 for immediate assistance.