When teenagers begin driving in Escondido, the experience can be extremely stressful for parents—both as passengers in the front seat and as nervous figures waiting at home for a teenager to return safely with the car. According to an article in Forbes, parent anxiety might not be helping teenagers at all when it comes to reducing the rate of car accidents. Rather than feeling nervous about having your teen behind the wheel, it is better to take steps to combat your anxieties surrounding your child obtaining a driver’s license and to focus on rational tasks that can provide your teen driver with the safety training they need to stay safe on the road.
Teen Driving is Dangerous
Parents’ anxieties surrounding teen driving are not unfounded. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, on average, six teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die every day in a motor vehicle collision, and as many as 300,000 teens require treatment in emergency departments every year for car accident injuries. Yet, as the CDC underscores and the Forbes article emphasizes, teen driving collisions are preventable.
Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the number of driving courses available to teens in California and throughout the country, many parents will be the ones to teach their kids to drive. Rather than panicking behind the wheel, or suggesting to your teen that their driving makes your nervous, it is better to be calm and collected, and to teach effective safety habits.
Teaching Teens to Drive Safely
The first part of teaching a teenager to be safe behind the wheel involves creating a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement in which you can set out your expectations for your teen’s driving, and your teenager can agree to consequences if they do not honor the terms of the agreement.
Next, be a good role model for your teen driver. Whenever you are driving, avoid your smartphone entirely until you have pulled over, always buckle up, and, as the article suggests, “drive like you’re on candid camera.” In other words, drive as though you are being monitored constantly, and strive to set a good example for your teen driver. Did you know that as many as 37% of parents with teen drivers admit to using apps on smartphones while they are driving? That data comes from a Liberty Mutual Insurance survey, which showed that teens tended to use their smartphones while driving at similar rates as parents.
In addition to being a role model, it is important to teach your teen how to use the various safety features on your automobile, and if you are able to do so, to purchase a car that has many new forms of safety technology to keep your teen driver safe. A variety of relatively new used cars from the last decade continue to have excellent safety ratings while offering a more affordable price point. For example, the Forbes article reports that used Subaru Legacy, Toyota Venza, Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback, GMC Terrain, and a variety of other vehicles are strong options for teen drivers and can be purchased in good condition for well under $10,000.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Escondido
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