If your teen has gotten a driver’s license over the summer, he or she may be excited about driving to school for the first time. However, it is natural to have some qualms about this as a parent. After all, the news reports daily on deadly Florida truck accidents and car accidents. Before letting your teen drive to and from school, you may want to ask the following questions:
1) Does your teen have a reliable car? A car that is not in good repair is a considerable danger, because it may not respond adequately if your teen needs to make a sudden move to avoid an accident. You may want to ask your teen to make sure that their car is in good shape before being allowed to drive to and from school. A summer car may not be adequate for the daily wear and tear of a daily commute.
2) Can your teen find a safe parking space nearby? Some high schools provide parking to students, but in other cases students need to find a spot on nearby streets. Are these streets safe to park on? Is parking adequate? Can your teen parallel park well enough to squeeze into a parking spot? Make sure that your teen can park safely and close enough not to have to be late for class.
3) Is your teen willing to sign pledges not to drink and drive or text and drive? Using a cell phone while driving or drinking and driving should carry serious penalties – such as the loss of driving privileges. Get it down on paper.
4) Can you agree on a route to school? Go over the routes to school, with an eye for safety and traffic.
5) Will your teen want to take friends to school? Extra passengers in the car add considerably to distraction for the driver and increase the risk of a Florida pedestrian accident or traffic accident. It is also difficult to enforce how many passengers your teen has in their car. Nevertheless, you will want to impose a passenger limit and have penalties in place if your teen driver disobeys this rule.
6) How will you know where your teen will be after school? One of the dangers of driving to and from school is that your teen may drive off after classes and may forget to tell you where he or she is going. You may need to have rules in place to ensure that you know where your teen is.
7) Has your teen received adequate driver training? Basic driving training is great, but giving your teen additional private lessons means added experience behind the wheel. Additional defensive driving courses are also a smart investment because they give your new driver additional skills to prevent a Florida car accident.
8) Will your teen be driving home in the dark? If your teen has after-school commitments, in the winter he or she may be driving home in the dark. However, most driver training and driver’s tests do not test night driving.
9) Does your teen have adequate experience with you in the passenger’s seat? Driving along in the passenger’s seat when your new driver heads out for a drive can help reassure you that your teen has the driving skills needed to take a car out daily. If you find that your teen has bad habits or dangerous habits, you have a chance to notice this and address it with further training before extending further driving privileges.
If your teen has been in a Florida car accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our legal team is based in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood to serve the entire South Florida community. A free consultation with the Flaxman Law Group gives you a chance to ask questions and to get information about your options.