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Road Safety Tips for Teen Drivers & Their Parents

Road Safety Tips for Teen Drivers & Their Parents

According to the Centers for Disease Control Injury Center, nearly 225,000 teens were injured or killed in driving accidents in 2015 alone. Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk for a crash because of their lack of experience. However, there are steps you can take as a teen driver to help you stay safe and avoid an accident.

These are 3 broad categories to consider that can increase your safety. These are:

  1. Common sense guidelines
  2. Things to beware
  3. Defensive driving habits

Common Sense Guidelines

There are some common sense guidelines to follow that can help increase your safety. One is to always wear a seatbelt. Statistics from 2015 reported that only about 60% of all high school students regularly wore a seatbelt while driving. Seatbelts can keep you from slamming through the windshield in an accident, and can hold you in place during a crash. Thus, it is important to always wear your seatbelt while driving, and to require your passengers to wear one as well.

Another common sense guideline is to always obey traffic laws. While some drivers may think they can roll through a stop sign, make lane changes without using a signal, or cut off other drivers with no consequences, these actions can cause an accident. It is important to obey the laws of the road and to pay attention to the actions of other drivers. Speeding, driving erratically, and disobeying traffic signs and signals endangers everyone on the road, including pedestrians. Traffic rules are there for a reason. They help protect you and keep the road functioning in a safe and organized manner. Thus, it is important to obey them at all times.

Furthermore, a common sense guideline that many people might not think about is to adjust the mirrors before driving. Not having the mirrors properly adjusted before starting to drive can cause you to take your focus off the road in an effort to fix the mirrors later on. Properly adjusted mirrors are important. They can help you see other cars and objects that pose a threat to your vehicle, as well as increase your comfort behind the wheel. By making sure all fixtures on your car, including your steering wheel, air conditioner, radio, seat, and mirrors, are adjusted to your comfort before taking off, you can help avoid an accident further down the road.

Things to Beware

Statistics show that nearly half of all accidents involving teen drivers in 2014 occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight. Night driving is more difficult than driving during the day because you cannot see the road and other vehicles as well. Furthermore, bright headlights from oncoming cars can shine in your eyes and make it hard to see the road. Especially if there are not enough streetlights or illumination for the road, it can be hard to distinguish lane lines, causing you to drift across lanes and threaten the safety of other drivers. Night driving takes experience. Thus, young drivers should be discouraged from driving at night without adult supervision.

You should also beware of distractions. These could include passengers, phones, radio or A/C controls, and mental distractions. Taking your hands off the wheel for any reason can increase the risk of an accident. Furthermore, becoming mentally distracted by emotional thoughts or discussions with passengers can result in an accident. It is important to limit physical and mental distractions so you can focus on the road. This can help keep you and your passengers safe.

Finally, you should beware of drinking alcohol before driving. Sadly, more than 13,000 people die every year from drunk driving accidents. While the legal limit is set at 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), even just one small drink can impair your ability to drive effectively.

The effects of alcohol include:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making abilities
  • Decreased muscle coordination
  • Impaired perception

Those who attempt to drive under the influence of alcohol may speed, weave between lanes, swerve into oncoming traffic, and fail to follow basic traffic rules. This can greatly increase the chances of being involved in a crash. It is important to never drink and drive. If you are drinking at a party, have someone in your group be the designated driver, take an Uber, or have your parents pick you up. This may save your life and keep others safe as well.

Defensive Driving Habits

Defensive driving involves a number of habits that can increase your safety. You should scan the road for obstacles, use your signals correctly before a turn, and anticipate the actions of other drivers. It is also important to be aware of your surroundings, maintain a safe speed, and avoid distractions at all times. By following these tips, you can decrease your chances of an accident.

A Tip for Parents

Parents can help their teenage drivers be safe by setting good examples. It is important to talk with your son or daughter and provide instructions on how to stay safe on the road. Encourage your children to avoid going to parties where drinking and drug use are prevalent, and to practice safe driving habits to help avoid an accident.

Having a license does not mean your teenage driver is completely competent in every situation on the road. Talk through scenarios, provide practical safety tips, and set a positive example in the way you drive as well. This reinforcement can help prepare and protect your teenager.

Call Our Greenville Personal Injury Lawyers Today at (864) 408-8890

Christian & Davis LLC passionately represents clients injured in car crashes. Whatever your situation, we can discuss your options for pursing compensation. Our firm has successfully guided hundreds of clients through the legal system, and we have more than 95 years of combined legal experience. We can answer your questions and provide informative assistance from start to finish.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact our Greenville car accident attorneys today for a free consultation.

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