Tips To Keep Teen Drivers Safer

teen driver safety

You spent years trying to keep your children safe from danger, but now they are driving, and keeping them out of danger while on the roads is critical. Make sure your children drive safely with the following tips, and if you have questions about a car accident, our Glendale car accident attorney at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can help.

Some Young Drivers Are Not Ready To Drive

In 2013, people between 15-19 were only 7% of the American population, but they were involved in 11% of the national costs of car accidents annually. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that teenage drivers from 16-19 are almost three times as likely as drivers 20 and older to be in fatal accidents. This is usually because the young driver needs to gain the experience and judgment to handle a car safely in challenging circumstances, such as merging, turning left at a busy intersection, or driving in bad weather.

Furthermore, the teenager may need more motor coordination and judgment to handle complex driving requirements. For instance, driving is usually the first time that many teens need to coordinate the actions of their hands, feet, and eyes. Young drivers are also more likely to misjudge traffic and get into accidents. Teens also may be more likely to text, not use their seatbelts, speed, and tailgate.

None of this is to say that teens cannot be safe drivers, but it is up to a parent’s judgment to determine when a young driver is ready for this serious responsibility. As you prepare your young driver for being behind the wheel, encourage them to be safe drivers with the following tips:

Get Rid Of Driver Distractions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that most car accidents for teen and adult drivers are because of distractions. Whether the distraction is a cell phone, drowsiness, eating, drinking, or talking to passengers, distracted driving is unsafe, especially for young drivers.

Remind your teen driver to eliminate all distractions when they are behind the wheel. They also should keep their focus down the road so they are ready if it is necessary to stop suddenly.

No Cell Phones

The cell phone is the biggest distraction for all drivers and can be even more so for teens. Therefore, you should require your young driver to shut off the phone and put it away when they are behind the wheel.

Wear Seatbelts

It is well known that wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the chances of serious injury or death in an accident. Every state except New Hampshire requires drivers to wear seatbelts, including California. Unfortunately, many young drivers choose not to wear seatbelts and suffer needless injuries and deaths in accidents. Also, all passengers should be strongly encouraged to wear seatbelts in your teen’s vehicle. A 2019 survey found that 43% of high school students do not always use seatbelts when riding in a car someone else drives.

Limit Driving At Night

Fatal accidents with limited visibility are more common at night, but there is even more risk for young drivers. Therefore, tell your teen to limit their driving after 8 or 9 PM for at least their first six months of driving. You also should practice driving at night with your teen when you think they have enough driving experience.

Do Not Drive With Friends

Many states, including California, have driver’s license restrictions for new drivers. For example, during the first year, the law states that minor drivers cannot drive passengers who are under 20 unless they have a licensed guardian or parent with them. However, some young drivers get into serious accidents partially because they drive with their friends and are distracted. In addition, California’s graduated driver’s license law applies to those who are 16 and 17, so make sure your young driver is driving alone.

Limit Music

Music needs to be kept to a minimum for young drivers, and the volume should be kept low. It also is important to stress they should not fiddle with their radio or cell phone music when they are behind the wheel.

No Speeding

The NHTSA reports that speeding was involved in 27% of fatal accidents in 2019 when there was a teen driver. Also, a recent Governors Highway Safety Association study found that teens were involved in more than 19,000 speeding-related accidents from 200-2011.

Practice Driving Often

Even after getting their California driver’s license, it takes a lot of practice to become the safest driver possible. So encourage your teenage driver to drive by themselves to school, work, the store, and more to get more driving time under their belt.

How To Teach Your Young Driver To Drive

Keeping the safety tips above in mind will help your young driver stay safe. Now, here are some additional tips for teaching your teen to drive when you are with them:

  • Before leaving the driveway, talk about your route and the driving skills that will be practiced.
  • Use a calm, even voice when you tell your teen to turn or brake. Getting upset only makes the situation more difficult for your teen.
  • If the driver makes a mistake, request calmly that they pull over. Then, talk about what they did wrong and how they can improve next time.
  • Encourage them to talk aloud about what they are doing when driving and what they see other drivers doing.
  • After each time you practice driving with your teen, ask if they think they did well that day. Let the child point out any mistakes they made, then you can provide your input. Also, ask what your teen could do differently during the next session. Finally, remember to provide praise for the driving skills they did well.
  • Maintain a log where you enter how many hours the teen drove, the route and any comments on the driving skills they practiced.

Contact Our Glendale Car Accident Attorneys Now

The teen driver safety tips mentioned in this article can help keep young drivers safe and healthy. However, if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, and our Glendale car accident attorneys can help. Call Ourfalian & Ourfalian now at (818) 550-7777.