As your auto accident lawyer in Philadelphia can attest, teens are often involved in motor vehicle accidents. In fact, among teenagers, car wrecks are the leading cause of accidental death, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Sadly, six teens across the country lose their lives on our nation’s highways and byways each day. Teen drivers are also more likely than any other driver to cause an accident, with teens aged 16 to 19 years old being three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those 20 or older.
As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help a teen with a freshly minted driver’s license stay safer on the roads.
Be an Exemplary Driver
As a parent, you have the opportunity to help instill good driving habits in your children. And yet, up to 48 percent of kids have witnessed their parents talking on a cell while driving. Help your teen become a responsible driver by being one.
Limit Your Teen’s Time Behind the Wheel
Remember, teens with new driving privileges that fall into the 16- or 17-year-old crowd are twice as likely to crash than those aged 18 and 19. Setting limits for your teen is vital, especially when it comes to the number of people allowed in the car with your new driver and the amount of driving he/she is permitted to do. Limit late-night trips or exclude them altogether, and consider allowing just one friend to accompany your child.
Practice Makes Perfect
No one learns to drive on their own, and with so many schools closed for the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year, driver’s ed course availability has been slim pickings for new drivers.
Let your teen practice driving with you for 30 to 50 hours at minimum, experts say, before trusting them to go it alone. Be sure to give them ample opportunity to experience different road types at various times of the day and even in periods of rainy or snowy weather to get a feel of all the hazards that may await them when they’re driving on their own.
Be Clear About Expectations
Write out a driving agreement, and have your teen sign it — but only after a thorough discussion of its terms. Make sure your teen understands the limits and the rules, along with what happens if those rules are broken.
If you or your teen are injured in a car accident, reach out to Ciecka Law, a car and motorcycle accident lawyer in Philadelphia, for help.