For Texas teenagers, learning to drive is a major rite of passage on the road to becoming an adult. Given that it is essential to have a car in order to effectively travel the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, once a teen receives their driver's license, they achieve a newfound independence and responsibilities. Unfortunately, teen drivers are the group most at risk from suffering injuries in an auto accident. Regardless of how good a student your child is, or how many hours of practice they've had in the driver's seat, it is still important that you instill a strict sense of the importance of safety in your young driver.
Car crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths in the United States. Each day, more teenagers die in fatal traffic collisions that die due to cancer, homicide and suicide combined. Even though teen drivers make up just seven percent of the licensed population, they are the cause of 20 percent of all fatal auto accidents. So what can you do as a parent to help ensure your teen driver's safety?
Set a good example.
Your children are passengers in your car for years before they start driving. A lot of their attitudes to driving and highway safety are a direct result from their observations of your driving, so it's important that you demonstrate safe driving habits with the proper consideration for traffic laws and other motorists that you interact with. You don't want to pass on any poor driving habits which could hurt your teen.
While driving with your teen as a passenger, talk about what you are doing. Discuss any road signs you see, and explain why you are reducing your speed or point out any potential hazards you are aware of (pedestrians, motorcyclists, etc).
As a personal injury lawyer, I know that distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal single vehicle wrecks, so prohibiting your teenager from using a cellphone or other device which behind the wheel is essential. It is important that you lead by example. Never use your cellphone while driving. No text or phone call is ever worth the danger that your distracted driving causes.
Never Underestimate The Value of Common Sense
It's important that parents teach their teenager the importance of common sense as it can help them avoid making dangerous decisions once they are in the driving seat. Make sure that your teen knows the rules you expect them to abide by and strictly enforce them at every opportunity.
Unfortunately, once your child turns 12 years old, they fall within the age group most at risk from suffering serious or life-threatening injuries in a car wreck. This means that they are at risk even as a passenger. Therefore, it is vital that you instill strict rules and expectations for them as a passenger, just as when they start driving. Make sure that they know why it's important that they always wear a seat belt and discuss reasons why they should never accept a ride from another teen driver without first getting your permission.
If your teenager has been injured in an auto accident which was not their fault, call an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation on your case. Call toll free at 800-354-6275 or call locally at 817-294-1900.
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