Safe driving practices are crucial for drivers of all ages, but it’s vital that teens know how to protect themselves behind the wheel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Their immaturity and lack of driving experience are two main factors leading to this high crash rate. If you have a new driver in your home, you must teach them how to stay safe while on the road.
Read on for tips on talking with your teen about the importance of safe driving.
The Rules of the Road
When you speak to your teenager, emphasize the importance of obeying the following rules of the road:
- Wear seat belts – Don’t start driving until everyone in the car is buckled up.
- Don’t drink and drive – Emphasize that it’s illegal to drink before age 21 and that it’s entirely unacceptable to drive under the influence at any age. The NHTSA shared that in 2019, 16% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.
- Avoid distractions – Distractions are among the most common dangers teenagers encounter in their cars. Remind your teen that everything else should be put on hold when they are behind the wheel. This means they need to avoid texting, changing their music, eating, fixing their hair or makeup, or anything else that takes their eyes off the road.
- No speeding – The CDC notes that in 2019, 31 percent of male teen drivers and 17 percent of female drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding. Obeying the posted speed limit is critical for safe driving.
- Avoid drowsy driving – Warn your teen about the dangers of drowsy driving and encourage them to get enough sleep each night.
Tips for Talking to Your Teen
Here are three tips as you navigate the safe-driving discussion with your teen:
- Know the facts – Before talking to your teen, you must understand the risks they face. Car accidents are a leading cause of death for minors 15 to 18 years old. In 2019 alone, 628 teen drivers died in automobile crashes.
- Be a coach – Instead of scolding your teen about their driving habits, talk to them with love. Stay calm and set clear expectations regarding safe driving. You should also establish consequences for dangerous behaviors, such as losing their driving privileges.
- Be a role model – Talking to your teen about safe driving is imperative, but demonstrating these behaviors will make a lasting impact. If you expect your teen to drive safely, you need to do the same.
If You’ve Been Involved in an Accident, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
Despite safe driving, accidents can still occur. Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton has spent over 25 years assisting Utah citizens after motor vehicle accidents, so we can give you the help you need after a collision. Our accident attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve and help you handle the aftermath of your accident.
We have offices in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Reach out today for your free case evaluation.