Car crashes are the number one killer of teens; about 3,000 young people die in automobile accidents every year. That is about eight families a day that are devastated by the loss of a child.
Teens are four times likely to crash than older drivers. The main reason for this is driver inexperience. No matter how studious or motivated, and inexperienced driver is more likely to be in an accident than an experienced driver.
Teen drivers are also more likely to drive while distracted. We all know that cell phones and texting devices are distracting, but friends may also be distractions. The car crash risk for a teen goes up when there are friends in the car. Two-thirds of teen car crash deaths occur when a driver has one or more teen passengers.
You can help your teen become a safe driver by setting some ground rules. Our Buchanan County, MO auto accident lawyers suggest:
Before allowing your teen to get a license, consider his or her maturity. Can your child be counted on to follow rules and let you know if there is an emergency? Not all teenagers need to receive their license the minute they turn 16. Sometimes waiting is better.
Speak to your child about the dangers of distracted driving. Make a no cell phone use while in the car rule. Remind your teen that cell phones and texting are not the only distractions; other distractions include putting on make-up, eating, or searching for music on an iPod.
Be a role model. Teens first learn about driving from watching their parents. If you are safety conscious, your child is more likely make safe driving a priority. If you are fast and reckless, your teen will see that as the norm.
Foster responsibility and a sense of ownership by requiring your child to pay for the insurance, gas and/or maintenance of the vehicle they drive.
Set a night time curfew. Teens are far more likely to have an accident after dark.
You may want to consider a teen driving contract. You can read about teen driving contracts in our article: "Is Your Teen Driving? A Warrensburg, MO Auto Accident Lawyer Suggests A Teen Driving Contract."
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