New Driver? How to Guide Your Teen Towards Safe Driving and Independence

Share

Texting and talking while driving

In just a few months, your teen will become a driver.  It’s hard to believe that your child is growing up so quickly.  And while you may not be ready for all the changes that your teen faces at this age, your teen is up for the challenge.

The best way you can help your teen ease into driving  is by continuing to provide the same guidance you have been giving for the last several years.  Parents are the most important influence on teen driving.  By setting clear expectations and rules about driving, you can ensure that your new teen driver understands potential dangers and will make good decisions on the road.

October 18-24 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and we want to arm you with important data and insights to help you effectively guide your teen to safety on the road.

  1. First, share the following important National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and www.teendriversource.org statistics about teen driving with your new driver.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15 to 19 in the S.
  • 2,614 teen (15-19 year old) drivers were involved in fatal crashes and 130,000 were injured in 2013.
  1. Second, review https://www.teendriversource.org and www.safercar.gov/parents/teendriving to find more resources to help you talk to your teen about safe, undistracted driving.  Statistical analysis from NHTSA 2013 vehicle accidents shows that most teen driving accidents are related to 5 risky behaviors:
  • Alcohol Use.Nearly 20% of all teens (15-19 years old) involved in fatal vehicle accidents consumed alcohol.
  • Texting while Driving.  Although this number is likely underreported, at least 6% of fatal crashes were due to driver distraction from texting.  Estimates show that at least 26% of all crashes involve cell phone use.
  • Nearly 30% of teen drivers involved in fatal vehicle accidents were speeding. 
  • Driving with Distracting Passengers. Research shows that the risk of fatal vehicle accidents increases directly with the number of teen passengers in the car.
  • Failure to Wear Seat Belts. Seat belts are one of the easiest and most important ways to protect oneself in a vehicle.  Yet, according to data from www.teendriversource.org and NHTSA, “64 percent of all the young passengers (13- to 19-year-old) of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t restrained. When the teen driver was also unrestrained, the number of all passengers unrestrained increased to almost 90 percent.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic Safety Facts 2013: Young Drivers. Washington (DC): NHTSA. Available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/.

  1. Third, introduce the NHTSA “5 to Drive” campaign to your teen.  This campaign highlights the five rules that teen drivers need to follow for safe driving.  The “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to talk with their teens and focus on safety topics each day during National Teen Driver Safety Seek.  The “5 to Drive” are based on preventing the aforementioned 5 most risky teen driving behaviors.

Teen Driving

“5 to Drive” Rules

  • No alcohol
  • No cell phone use or texting
  • No speeding
  • No additional teen passengers
  • No driving without a seat belt
  1. Talk with your teen and remind him or her that driving is a privilege, not a right. If your teen does not follow the “5 to Drive” each time he or she drives, then he or she is engaging in risky behavior that can put him or her and other drivers in danger.
  2. Establish a New Driver Contract with your teen. The new driver contract is set up with clear rules, restrictions and consequences.  Refer to the www.driveithome.org website for sample contracts and other ideas.
  3. Make sure you check the “5 to Drive” when you are ready to drive. As a parent, you have the opportunity to set the example for your teen.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Never text and drive.
  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Don’t allow additional passengers to distract you.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Do you have questions about new teen drivers and the law?  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.