Parents are the key to preventing teenage distracted driving

There are several steps parents can take to help their teenager driver become a safer driver and maintain safe driving habits.

Many parents worry that when their teenager gets his or her driver's license, their child will not remain safe on the road and avoid hazardous behaviors, like texting and driving. While teenagers are at a high risk of getting into a car accident due to lack of experience, parents can play an active role in their teenager's driving habits to prevent serious collisions.

Teenage driving statistics

According to the Insurance Information Institute, drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 accounted for 12 percent of all drivers involved in collisions where the police submitted a crash report in 2015. Additionally, in this same year, nine percent of all drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teenagers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers only account for 5.4 percent of all the drivers in the U.S.

Teenagers are also four times more likely to get into a car accident than older drivers not only because they have less experience driving, but because they are less likely to accurately assess risky situations.

Steps for parents

Many teens trust the opinion of their parents the most, so it is imperative that parents play an active role in preventing their teenage driver from being involved in a car accident. There are several steps parents should take to accomplish this goal, and they include the following:

  • Even after their teenager earns his or her driver's license, parents should continue to stress safe driving habits and their importance.
  • Parents should make sure their teenager is aware of the dangers of unsafe driving.
  • In addition to discussing the many dangers of unsafe driving, parents should tell their teenager they are concerned for his or her wellbeing while operating a vehicle.
  • Even if their teenager no longer has to drive supervised, parents might want to consider extending this supervision requirement.
  • Parents should draft a safe driving contract and ask their teen to sign it as well as follow the rules included.

Parents should also outline several safe driving rules they want their teenage driver to follow. For example, parents may only allow their teenager to drive alone for several months after licensure because the more teenage passengers there are in the car, the higher the crash risk is.

Contact an attorney

While parents can do their best to help their teen maintain safe driving habits, they cannot control the actions of others. Those injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another should contact the attorneys at Bart Durham Injury Law who serve clients both in Kentucky and Tennessee.