One of every parent’s biggest fears is the day their teenager drives off in the car alone for the very first time. This day can be quite nerve racking and is the culmination of months of practice and years of training.
According to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 7 teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) die in an auto accident every day, which is exactly why it is imperative they understand safe driving before they ever get behind the wheel of a car.
As a parent, it’s your job to make sure your child is as ready as possible for the responsibility of driving. Whether your teen admits it or not, you have a big influence over their life. Therefore, it is important to be a good role model by following the safe driving practices listed below:
- NEVER text and drive. Tennessee law outright bans texting while driving. You too must obey the laws and let your teen know that this activity is not acceptable.
- As a new driver, consider asking your teen to turn their cell phone completely off when behind the wheel.
- Have a curfew. Most teen accidents happen between the hours of 9pm to 2am.
- Minimize distractions. Speak to them about having the car stereo too loud and the dangers of distracted driving. For instance, you may want to talk to your teenage daughter about not putting on makeup while driving. Yes, this does happen…
- Do not let them drive with another person in the car for a designated period of time. Only you as the parent can know when your teen is ready to give friends a ride.
- Make certain they know to turn headlights on in the early morning and at dusk so that they are as visible as possible on the road.
- Set boundaries. When they are a still new to driving, don’t release them on the highway! Start by letting them drive around your neighborhood or community for a while and then gradually branch out.
- Discuss the dangers of drinking and driving. Let your teen know if they ever drink and are unsure about driving, they can ALWAYS call you! You can discipline them for underage drinking after they are home safe and sound.
- Purchase a safe vehicle that has an excellent crash safety rating.
- Make sure they know what to do in the event of a car accident.
Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville auto accident attorneys at Gilreath & Associates urge parents to talk openly and honestly with their teens about taking the responsibility of driving very seriously. Prepare for the conversation by learning more about your responsibilities as a Tennessee driver.
If you are ever in need of legal counsel from an experienced auto accident attorney, contact our office for a free consultation.