Helping Your Teen to be a Safe Driver
Teen drivers present a significant risk to themselves and to others on the road. In fact, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation indicates that car crashes are the number one cause of death for teens. The chance of a teen dying in an accident is four times the chance of an adult dying in a car crash. The chances of a teen being injured are even greater as teens are 14 times more likely to suffer injury than adults. In addition, teens are more likely to kill passengers riding in their vehicle, rather than themselves, when they are involved in a crash.
These sobering statistics reveal that there are many accidents that occur in Massachusetts each year and throughout the United States where a teen causes harm to himself or others. Those who are injured by teen drivers may turn to Massachusetts personal injury law firms such as the Boston personal injury firm of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC. However, while compensation can be comprehensive and include payment for lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, it cannot undo the pain of the injury or the loss of a child you love. As such, helping your teen to be a safe driver should be a primary goal of every parent.Helping Your Teen to be a Safe Driver
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identify many different factors that contribute to the increased risk of car accidents for teen drivers. Among these factors are speeding, following too close to the car in front, consuming alcohol, underestimating the danger of driving situations and overestimating individual driving skills. The best way to help your teen to become a safe driver is to work with your teen to minimize these factors and to help your teen understand the responsibilities associated with driving a car.
The CDC provides some suggestions for preventing teen crashes and helping teens to be safer drivers. Safety experts suggest, for instance, the use of comprehensive graduated driver's licensing systems. Under graduated licensing systems, teens do not get full driving privileges all at once but instead must work up to them. Parents can also impose their own graduated system, slowly allowing their children more and more freedom to drive later at night or longer distances.
Parents may also try a number of techniques and tactics used to help encourage teens to be a safe driver including:
- Mandating that teens take drivers education and/or a defensive driving course.
- Establishing strict rules about whether your child can have friends in the car while driving. Many teen car accidents happen when the driver is paying attention to passengers instead of the road. Forbidding your new teen driver from transporting friends can help to minimize these dangers.
- Establishing strict rules about texting and cell phones. Texting is the most dangerous practice and the most likely to lead to a distracted driving crash. You must make clear to your teen that you have a zero tolerance policy in your home for texting or talking on the phone while driving. Let your teen know that driving while talking or texting is going to result in you taking the keys.
- Getting to know your child's friends and paying attention to where your child is going. This can help to ensure your child does not drink and drive or otherwise engage in dangerous behaviors.
- Using GPS monitoring software or other devices to monitor whether your teen is obeying the speed limit and following the rules of the road. This can be controversial, but some parents find that being able to keep tabs on their teen is a smart choice for ensuring safe driving.
- Spending time driving with your teen. When you see the mistakes your child may be making, you can work through those mistakes with him or her so that they are less likely to cause an accident later on.
- Limiting access to Mp3 or fancy music systems while in the car. Changing the radio, CD or song on the mp3 player is another major cause of teen accidents. If your teen doesn't have a fancy sound system or the ability to play Mp3s in the car, this can reduce the risk of this type of accident.
These are just a few of the many ways that parents can try to work with their children and help those children to become safer drivers.
Unfortunately, accidents still do happen and when they do, anyone injured by a teen driver needs to get into contact with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer for advice and guidance on the best way to proceed.
To learn more about how a Boston car accident lawyer can help you after a teen driving accident, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or online. Your consultation is free and there is no fee unless we are successful in making a recovery on your behalf.