The first months of being a licensed driver can be an exciting time for teenagers – and it should be! Gaining a license brings a sense of freedom, and it has served as a coming-of-age ritual for decades. While this is an exciting time, it is also the most dangerous time, as the number one cause of death for teenagers in 2015 was car crashes, per the National Safety Council. As parents, we can help prepare our teenagers to be safe drivers by encouraging safe habits at an early age and educating our children on the risks associated with being a licensed driver.
As the school year ends, more teenagers will be on the road for Summer jobs, getting together with friends or even running errands for parents and siblings. The attorneys at Dale E. Anstine encourage both parents and teens to keep in mind the following facts and tips for new drivers:
The adage “practice makes perfect” rings true for many things, including driving. Parents and guardians of new drivers should encourage their teen drivers to practice behind the wheel often. First, start out with sunny, calm days, but don’t be fearful of practicing in the rain, too. Drivers need to be comfortable in all situations, so start out with easy trips, then add in practice time during rain or cloudy weather. Start out by practicing during the daytime then graduate to dusk and evening driving.
Even drivers who have never been in an accident will probably admit they have gone over the speed limit once or twice. It’s the most common traffic violation, and while it’s become almost “normal,” it is still considered poor behavior. Teen drivers may be cautious to go over the posted speed limit; however, they do not have the experience yet to determine if they are going too fast in certain situations. Even though a posted speed limit is 45 MPH, the optimal speed may be much lower in rain or snow. It’s important to educate your teen on how weather, traffic or time of day can affect safe speed.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has become an epidemic. Cell phones are the most common culprit, however navigation systems, billboards, eating and personal grooming are other distractors that can cause a new driver to lose focus. Auto accidents caused by distracted driving are 100% preventable so encourage your driver to just drive.
4. Be a Role Model
If you read a text message when driving with your teen, why would you expect them to behave differently? Teens learn how to drive from parents and guardians so drive the way you want your teen to drive. Set a good example for your driver by practicing safe behaviors behind the wheel.
As the Summer unfolds, we want to remind teen drivers and their parents to be safe on the road. Newly-licensed drivers should practice as much as possible to reduce the risks of driving. Keep these important safety tips top of mind, and let’s help to keep everyone safe!
If you or a loved one are injured, whether due to an accident or a personal injury caused by other means, get an experienced accident attorney on your side to protect your rights. Reach out to Dale E. Anstine today to learn more. With offices in York and Gettysburg, our team is proud to protect the injured across the Central Pennsylvania community. Consultations are always free, we’re available 24/7, and there’s no fee unless we win for you.