Teens and driving go hand-in-hand even if it’s sometimes a recipe for disaster. Teaching my teen to drive with respect was relatively pain-free since my daughter is a cautious driver. Unfortunately, most teens think they’re ready for a car, but they aren’t prepared for the responsibility.
It’s up to us adults to help teens learn to drive responsibly and stress the importance of safety. The latter part became all too real for my teen after a friend was killed in a car accident. Teens have to be taught that a vehicle can be deadly, especially if the driver isn’t experienced.
The San Diego legal team behind SeriousAccidents.com includes experts that are nationally recognized in handling vehicle accident cases. They have a few words of advice for teen drivers and their parents.
Parents Have to Set Boundaries and Consequences
Before you hand your teen the keys to a car set down some ground rules and punishments for breaking them. Your teen driver needs to know that you’re serious about safe driving. If you find out that they’ve broken the rules driving privileges should be revoked.
Discuss the Dangers of Texting and Driving
Trying to pry a smart phone out of the hands of a teen is nearly impossible. That’s fine when they’re sitting around at home, but behind the wheel, it is absolutely unacceptable.
Texting is now a leading cause of distracted driving. According to government statistics, drivers aged 15-19 years old are most frequently involved in fatal distracted driving accidents.
Make Sure Insurance Information is in the Car
Your teen isn’t probably thinking about insurance when they get behind the wheel. But if they get pulled over or get into an accident it’s critical information to have on hand. Make sure there’s a copy of the insurance policy in the car and that your teen knows where it is.
Consider Using Tools and Apps to Monitor Your Teen’s Driving
In our technological age, there are a lot more ways for parents to keep tabs on their teen driver. You can use apps, telematics devices and GPS tools to see where your teen is driving, which is great if they are supposed to stay within city limits or avoid the highways.
Do you have a Ford that’s a 2009 or newer? Then you can use MyKey to program a second key for your teen to use. That key will communicate restrictions you’ve set to the car. No more concerns over your teen not wearing their seatbelt!
Tips That Help Teen Drivers Handle an Accident
There’s nothing scarier for a teen driver than getting in an automobile accident. In addition to possible injuries and damage to the car, teens know they’ll also have to explain the situation to their parents. Before an accident happens is the best time to talk with your kids about what to do if they find themselves in that situation. After all, your insurance will be affected depending on how the situation is handled.
The experts at SeriousAccidents.com suggest that parents tell their kids to:
It’s easy to get shaken up after a car accident and let your emotions get the best of you. But that usually leads to missed information and arguments with the other driver. Let your teen know it’s okay to get upset, but they need to hold it together until everything is under control.
Not Take Blame or Apologize at the Scene
If your teen driver admits fault, which they may feel compelled to do even if it wasn’t, then the other driver’s insurance will take you to the cleaners. All they need is an apology to argue that your teen caused the accident and you should have to foot the entire bill.
Call 9-1-1 Immediately
Even if no one is seriously hurt in the accident calling 9-1-1 will bring a police officer to the scene. Your teen should understand that an officer needs to be there to control traffic and notate the details of the scene. An officer can also help control people who are emotional after the accident.
Contact You After the Authorities
Once the authorities have been contacted, tell your teen to call you next. If possible get to the scene of the crash ASAP so you can help handle the situation. You may also need to provide information to the authorities and/or insurance company.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
Many teens are too naïve to realize that some adult drivers aren’t afraid to scam them. Stress the importance of getting the other person’s license plate number first and foremost, as well as their name, insurance company and phone number for follow up after the accident.
Contact the Insurance Company
Once you’ve been contacted either you or your teen need to call the insurance company. Let your insurer know the basics of what has occurred and share the other driver’s information.