Earning your driver’s license is perhaps one of the most exciting milestones you reach as a teenager. For teens, it provides a sense of freedom, pride, and appreciation for the new responsibility. For parents on the other hand, common emotions surrounding the milestone include anxiety and fear for their child’s safety. While you cannot control how other cars on the road with your teen may behave, you can do your best in encouraging your teen to engage in safe driving.

Here is a list of 5 suggestions on how to encourage safe driving:

  • Limit the number of passengers allowed in the car while your teen is driving.
    • Each additional passenger raises the crash risk of teenage drivers.
    • According to the US Department of Transportation, teenage drivers are two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with another teen compared to driving alone.
  • Educate your teen on the dangers of driving under the influence. 
    • It is not only illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, but also highly dangerous for the driver, passengers, and other cars on the road.
    • There is zero tolerance for any alcohol in the system of someone who is under 21 years old. His or her blood alcohol concentration should always be at .00.
  • Create consequences for failure to make responsible driving decisions.
    • If your teen breaks any of the previously agreed upon boundaries regarding driving, warning and implementing driving-related consequences are necessary and effective.
    • These consequences can involve limiting the hours your teen is allowed to drive or limiting the locations your teen is allowed to drive to.
  • Constantly reiterate the importance of a seatbelt from a young age.
    • Wearing a seat belt is not only the law, it is the easiest and most effective way to protect yourself when involved in a crash.
    • Set a rule with your teen that states every person in the car, front or back seat, must be wearing a seat belt at all times while in the vehicle.
    • Explain the important function of a seat belt, which is to prevent passenger ejection from the vehicle.
  • Lead by Example.
    • New drivers are extremely influenced by their parents’ driving habits.
    • Examples to set for teen drivers include:
      • Following the rules of the road
      • Properly maintaining the car (both exterior and interior)
      • Never drive under the influence
      • Be a courteous driver that does not participate in road rage.

If you or your teen have been involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact an attorney to understand your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Zlotolow & Associates can bring more than two decades of experience to your case. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us toll-free at (886)800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.