There’s nothing more exciting to a teenager than getting their driver’s license and taking to the open road (without you in the passenger seat). While they’re excited about their newfound independence, you’re sure to have concerns.
This passage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how dangerous it is for teen drivers in the United States:
In 2019, almost 2,400 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.1 That means that every day, about seven teens died due to motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more were injured. In addition, motor vehicle crash deaths among teens 15–19 years of age resulted in about $4.8 billion in medical and work loss costs for crashes that occurred in 2018.
In other words, teens and their passengers are at great risk of serious injury or death every time they get into a vehicle.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to do your part in keeping your teen safe on the road. While you can only do so much, inaction doesn’t do anyone any good. You need to take action and that starts with having open and honest conversations with your teen driver.
Here are some tips to help you talk to your teenager about the dangers of driving:
Don’t Accuse Them of Anything
This is the first thing to remember. If you accuse your teen driver of anything — such as speeding or texting while driving — you’re pushing them farther away.
If you know that they’ve done something dangerous in the past, discuss this with them once you’ve laid the foundation for your conversation.
Talk About Risk Factors
It’s not good enough to tell your teen in general terms how dangerous it is to drive. You need to get into specifics, and risk factors are a good place to start. Discuss things such as:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving
Be as specific as possible so there’s no gray area. Make it clear that these risk factors should be avoided at all costs.
Share Your Experiences
You were a teen driver at one point, so you have personal experiences you can share. Were you involved in an accident as a teen? What could you have done differently to prevent it?
If there’s an experience worth sharing, it makes sense to do so. This shows your teen that you’re on the same level as them. It makes it easier for you to connect.
Talk About Safety Measures
It’s good to talk about risk factors, but you must also provide advice on how to prevent trouble. There is no shortage of safety measures your teen driver can take, so make a list and go through it one at a time. It could include things such as:
- Wearing a seat belt at all times
- Limiting the number of passengers
- Always driving the speed limit and following other rules of the road
- Using an app to prevent texting and driving
Even though your teen may be familiar with these safety measures, it doesn’t mean they always put them to good use. A reminder now and again can’t hurt. In fact, it could be the one thing that saves your child’s life.
If your teenager is injured in a motor vehicle accident, consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can manage your claim from start to finish. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, we can step in to assist you and your child at this difficult time. Our experience and knowledge of personal injury law allow us to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.
Contact us online or via phone at (561) 693-3872 to set up a free consultation with one of our Florida personal injury lawyers. We’re here to answer your questions, provide feedback, and guide you through the process.
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