Lawyers know that many parents dread the day their teens announce their plans to get their drivers’ license. While it’s often a rite of passage, teen driving also opens up a whole new list of worries. Just ask any lawyer! Your lawyer will tell you the key is knowing how to keep teens safe while driving. Ensuring your teens are equipped with all the tools and tips they need to become safe, trustworthy drivers are important.
When you know your teen has been taught to drive safely, you can have peace of mind when they ask for the car keys. Here are some lawyer tips to help you remain calm and reduce anxiety about teen driving.
Provide Proper Driving Lessons
Your lawyer knows even the best drivers can pass on bad habits to their kids when they take teen driving training into their own hands. The first and best way to know how to keep teens safe while driving is to provide proper, formal teen driving lessons. Choosing a local accredited driving school is not only important for teaching safe teen driving. You can also get a generous discount on your auto insurance so you know those dents and fender benders will be covered with the proper coverage.
Defensive Driving Lessons
While distracted driving is a major concern for teen driving, lawyers know defensive driving prepares your teen for any other eventualities on the road. This allows them to respond quickly and safely. Defensive teen driving teaches teens to maintain control of their vehicle. Defensive teen driving also teaches them to react wisely without endangering themselves or other drivers. They can anticipate hazards and know how to avoid accidents even when faced with challenges.
It’s also an important lesson on avoiding emotional reactions to dangerous drivers. If you know your teen driving out there is in control of the situation, you will feel less stressed about worst-case scenarios and need to call a lawyer. Your teen driving lessons should include defensive tips such as:
- Understanding the rules of the road so they avoid costly mistakes
- Preventing distracted driving
- Ensuring they don’t pass stationary objects quicker than 3 seconds than the car in front of them
- Avoiding dangerous drivers by yielding to allow them to pass and keep away from drivers who are driving dangerously or erratically
- Choosing a teen driving course that includes defensive driving will keep your teen driving safely on the road.
Offer Patient Support
Teen driving is like any life skill. You want your child to succeed and learn to practice safe driving. Getting out on the road with a responsible adult in the passenger seat will help your child develop their driving skills. Your lawyer will tell you distracted drivers are more likely to get into accidents with 2,841 lives lost in 2018 due to distracted driving. In-car instruction with you helps them become more comfortable and confident in their teen driving skills which help keep them safe. You can also point out distracted driving, so they recognize when they are putting themselves in danger.
Teach Them About Distracted Driving
Many teens are unaware of all the potential issues of distracted driving. Lawyers suggest teens need to understand ALL aspects of distracted driving including:
- Getting lost in thought
- Any type of cell phone use including texting, switching music, voice calls, etc.
- Paying too much attention to sights on the road such as people, an event, objects, etc.
- Distracted driving due to passengers
- Using other devices in the car
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting their seat, the radio, the air conditioning, or heat, etc.
- Moving things in the car such as a purse, their phone, sunglasses, etc.
- Putting on makeup or checking their reflections
- Smoking-related issues such as lighting a cigarette, getting out a cigarette, putting out a cigarette
- Trying to pick up something they dropped such as food, their phone, papers, etc.
In other words, lawyers know anything that takes their eyes off the road even for a minute is considered distracted driving.
Law Down the Law
Teen driving is one of the first ways your child becomes more responsible. Although some might take advantage of their newfound freedom, most won’t want to lose their new privileges by breaking the rules. Knowing how to keep teen driving safe, starts with teaching them responsibility such as how to avoid distracted driving.
Lawyers warn teen driving opens up new areas of potential issues with your teen’s habits and behavior. From day one you should lay down the law with clearly defined consequences should those rules be broken. Safe teen driving rules should include:
- Checking in with you upon arrival at their destination
- Checking in when they are on their way home
- Telling you where they are driving to
- No friends allowed in the car
- No driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Understanding distracted driving has a zero-tolerance policy
The best way to enforce rules is to take away teen driving privileges for a certain amount of time. Of course, it will be hard to know what your teen is up to, especially for something like distracted driving. However, when caught, they need to know you won’t hesitate to enforce the rules with no free passes for first offenses!
Explain Legal Implications of Breaking the Law
Teen driving might seem a little more serious if your teen understands the legal implications of breaking the law. Your lawyer can tell you in Ohio, teen driving violations such as distracted driving include a $150 fine and a 60-day suspension of their driver’s license. With multiple distracted driving violations, you’ll need a lawyer as the fines can be as much as $300, plus they can lose their driver’s license for up to a year. Since distracted driving is such a threat, they should be aware of the fines associated with distracted driving to help discourage it.
It might make you feel better knowing teen crashes and deaths are on the decline thanks to strict distracted driving laws. However, any lawyer will tell you the best way to ensure your teen driving novice remains safe is to set the groundwork with safe driving lessons and rules that help encourage them to keep their eyes on the road.
Teen driving might be scary, but knowing how to keep teens safe while driving is the best way to reduce anxiety when they borrow the car. The last thing you want is to need to hire a lawyer to resolve issues related to an accident caused by your teen.
Prior to forming Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz, Doug worked as a bodily injury claims adjuster for a large insurance company. This unique experience has been a tremendous asset to Doug in his fight to achieve maximum cash settlements for his clients in minimum time. Since departing from the insurance company, Doug has dedicated his entire legal career to helping injured clients when they need it the most.