If you have teenagers in your home, you need to have a conversation about safe holiday driving. If your teens don’t drive yet, you may think that they are safe. However, they may still be getting dropped off by an older friend, and the risk of drunk driving accidents is still there.
If you have new drivers in your home, your teenagers need to understand the dangers of holiday driving. You may also need to set limits and rules to ensure they drive safely.
Talking to young teenagers about holiday driving
If your children don’t have their driver’s licenses yet, they may still be getting rides from older friends. In this situation, it’s important to sit down and talk to them about underage drinking, drugged driving, and other dangerous behaviors.
Make sure your teens know that joyriding, speeding, drugged driving, or drunk driving can and does lead to injuries among people their own age. Let your teens know that they can always contact you, family friends, or other members of your family for a safe ride home. In many cases, children are afraid to call parents for help. This might be a good time to get them to sign a pledge and to remind them that they can always call for a safe ride home – no questions asked.
Talking to new drivers
If you have a new driver in your home, it’s important to talk to them about the dangers of holiday driving. Your teenager may not know about the risks of driving at this time of year. You’ll want to cover:
1) Heavy traffic
At this time of year, they’re simply more people on the road. Some people may be heading to South Florida for a vacation and many people are out and about taking care of holiday events and errands. All of this means more drivers on the road, and your teenager needs to be aware that heavier traffic can mean more of a risk of accidents.
2) Drunk and drugged driving
While you may think your teenager would never drink or take drugs, studies show most teens experiment at least once. Remind your teenager that DUI accidents can increase during the holiday season. Make it clear that there are serious consequences for drunk driving and that they will lose their license and their privilege to drive if they are caught drunk driving. Help your teenager come up with alternate plans to get home safely.
3) Distracted driving
Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving because it can similarly slow response times and impair judgment. Unfortunately, young drivers who are trying to finalize holiday plans and are caught up in holiday events face an increased risk of distracted driving.
With your children, work together to come up with a list of distractions so they can see the full range of activities that can distract them. Then, work with your teenager to come up with a list of ways they can prevent distracted driving. Your teen is more likely to follow the rules if they help come up with solutions.
4) Parking lot accidents
If your teen will be headed to the mall or to any retail area in Hollywood or South Florida, they may run into overcrowded parking lots and an increased risk of car and truck accidents. Encourage your child to back into parking spots so they can easily pull out of them with the best visibility. Talk about the importance of slowing down and checking all blind spots before pulling into or out of any parking spot.
If you or your child are injured in a car accident is holiday season, do not hesitate to contact Flaxman Law Group. At Flaxman Law Group, our phone lines are staffed by a live operator around the clock – even during the holiday season. You can always contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.