Q: My teenager just started driving. What can I do to keep them safe on the road?
When your teenager first gets behind the wheel of a car, there tends to be a disconnect between parent and child as to what's really happening. The teenager sees himself as an adult, while the parent still sees him as kid. The truth is somewhere in between, which means parents need to talk to their teenagers about safe driving habits but, ultimately, leave it up to them to listen and enforce those safety rules. It needs to be a team effort.
The National Safety Council notes that there are three main factors that contribute to teen crash risks:
- Teen passengers in the vehicle
- Nighttime driving
You can help avoid these things by making sure your teen gets a lot of driving practice, limiting the number of friends they can have in their car, and limiting or completely restricting nighttime driving. You should also require them to wear their seat belt and tell them they are not allowed to use their cell phone for any reason while they are driving.
One big thing the National Safety Council encourages is to communicate your expectations. You need to be as detailed as possible about what you expect and what the consequences will be if your teen does not abide by the rules. They offer a fantastic Parent/Teen Driving Agreement that you can print for your own use, or use as a guide to create your own. It's a great way to get everyone on the same page about what the rules are and what your teen needs to do to drive safely.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Dallas car crash, contact Girards Law for a free consultation at 888-897-2762.