Young drivers have some of the highest insurance rates around, and a big part of this has to do with the fact that statistically speaking, young drivers are more likely to take part in risk taking activities behind the wheel. According to research, this is especially true of young male drivers who are in the car with their peers.
The idea that your child may be hood surfing, speeding, driving stunts, drag racing, or taking part in any dangerous activities can be hard to believe. However, the parents of teenagers who are seriously injured or even killed by taking part in these activities often tell authorities that they had no idea their child was involved in these types of situations. Children may be injured the first time they try an unsafe driving maneuver. In some cases, too, children go well out of their way to keep their more risk taking activities a secret from their parents.
So what can parents do to help keep their children safe and to ensure that their teen drivers are driving safe? According to authorities, there are several things that can be done:
- Make sure your child has extra driving experience. Take your child out to practice driving, sign them up for additional classes, sign them up for racing classes, and generally ensure they have more than the bare minimum of experience. The more time they spend learning driving from experienced instructors and experienced drivers, the more likely they are to have the driving experience they need and the more they may be able to understand the risks of the road.
- Parse out driving privileges gradually. Driving is a privilege, and it should especially be so for young drivers who don’t yet have the experience needed to stay fully safe on the roads. Don’t let your child drive with passengers their own age, for example, until they have been driving for quite some time. Similarly, don’t allow your child to drive at night or to take part in long road trips immediately after they get their license. Allow them to earn your trust and their privileges by showing you they can handle shorter trips.
- Have serious consequences in place. If your child does get in fender benders, does speed, or does end up in legal trouble due to risky driving, be prepared to offer discipline in the form of taking away driving privileges and other privileges as well. Children need to learn that there are consequences to risky behaviours.
- Understand that your child’s brain works differently. Teenagers’ brains literally have a different way of processing information. They may have a hard time understanding consequences or realising the risk of specific actions. Keep this in mind when talking to your child about unsafe driving. They may agree with everything you say but peer pressure and poor, spontaneous decision-making are still a serious risk.
If your child has been injured in a serious accident, don’t hesitate to contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) to speak to an experienced Homestead car accident attorney in a free, no obligation consultation.