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How To Encourage Safe Teen Driving

Posted on October 31, 2022

Car accidents are a leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. Therefore, it is crucial they understand state traffic laws and be encouraged to follow these safety tips. If you, or a loved one, are involved in a car accident, make sure you are to talk to a car accident attorney to ensure that your case is taken care of. 

Turn The Cellphone Off

Distracted driving is responsible for hundreds of thousands of car accidents each year and thousands of deaths. To help your teen avoid the temptation of looking at their phone while driving, advise them to turn it off, put it on silent or do not disturb, or put it somewhere they cannot reach it. Reading a single text while driving takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds, during which the entire length of a football field can be traveled. To take it a step further, there are also driving apps that parents can download to their teen’s phone to monitor their screen time while in the car. 

Follow the Speed Limit

Speeding is a major contributing factor to fatal car accidents. It is critical that teens know the importance of following the speed limit and remaining aware of when it changes. Help your teen get into the habit of always leaving at least five minutes early so they have extra time to safely get to where they are going.

Limit Passengers 

When teen drivers have a car full of friends, it can be overstimulating if they are inexperienced. Have your teen limit passengers to one or none until they have been on the road for at least one year.

Drive Defensively 

Driving defensively helps drivers avoid accidents because they remain aware and plan for other drivers’ mistakes. For example, simple actions can be taught, such as scanning the road ahead, maintaining a safe following distance, and watching for changes in driving conditions, which can help your teen detect and avoid potential problems before they happen.

Discuss the Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

Every 15 minutes, a teenager is killed because of drunk driving. Although your teen has likely already been told the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important to reiterate the risks. Let them know the other options they can do instead if they end up in that scenario or think about getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking. For example, you will always pick them up if they do not have a safe way to get home, and you will be proud of them for making the safe decision not to drive or get in a friend’s car. 

Model Safe Driving Behaviors

When parents wear seat belts, follow traffic laws, stay off their phones, refrain from road rage, drive defensively, and make other safe choices, their teens will be influenced to do the same.

Vehicle Maintenance 

Teaching basic car care to your teen will help them feel responsible for their vehicle’s condition. As a result, this sense of responsibility can produce safer driving behaviors. They should also know how to observe unusual sounds, smells, or sensations in their car and what to do if it breaks down.