Driving is a rite of passage for most teens. They go through driver training and road tests. Once they pass that test, they are theoretically ready to drive, but there is still so much to learn. Inexperience can lead to poor decisions or even the inability to recognize that they are making poor decisions.
Important statistics to remember
A quick search on the web of teen driving will yield millions of hits, providing tips for teaching them, cars to buy them and just about anything else. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency provides teen driving statistics from 2017 (the most recent year with final data) that will scare any parent. Highlights include:
- 3,255 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes.
- 2,526 non-driving teens were also killed in crashes.
- 229 teens were killed in crashes involving distracted driving.
Parents can set the tone
Parents can lessen the risk that teens face by doing due diligence on their end. They can set good examples for the kids by exercising safe driving habits. While state laws have specific guidelines for young drivers, parents can augment those with specific rules for the teen’s use of a vehicle. If they are in the position to do so, some parents even choose safer models of vehicles that are easier to drive and offer fewer options for causing trouble.
It is especially important to talk to them about the dangers of driving while impaired. They need to understand the cause and effect of driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, sleep aids (or even drowsy driving). Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is both incredibly risky, but it can also mean a criminal record if they are arrested.
Sometimes your child is not the negligent one
Safe driving habits are sometimes not enough. Whether a child is in a crash where the other driver is at fault or is a passenger who is severely injured, parents are advised to seek guidance from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience here in Rockford. There is nothing more tragic than the death or severe injury of a child, and an attorney can be there to hold the negligent parties responsible.