Many teenagers right now are feeling a little bit restless, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled many activities, classes, and even get-togethers. As a result, teenagers with drivers’ licenses may be driving more as a way to have something to do, and this extra time on the road can pose additional hazards.
If your children are bored and driving over longer distances, they may be taking more risks and simply being on the road for a longer can mean a higher risk of car accidents and injuries. For these reasons, right now is an excellent time to talk to your children about driving safely. You may want to talk about:
- Long-distance drives: If your children are going on longer drives, talk to them about the dangers of highway hypnosis, the dangers of fatigue, and the other dangers of long-distance excursions. Make sure that they understand it’s easy to get distracted on long drives and encourage them to take and plan frequent rest stops.
- Risky driving: Risky driving is a danger for everyone, but especially for teenagers who may be still figuring out their limits. Discuss risky driving maneuvers, such as racing, speeding, and other dangerous activities.
- Buzzed and drunk driving: While younger drivers actually have lower rates of drunk driving when compared with past generations, they may not always appreciate that having one or two beverages, even when they are below the legal limits for an adult, are still illegal. Teenagers who take part in underage drinking are doubly at risk of losing their driver’s license and are at risk of serious accidents and injuries
- Distracted driving: Distractions come in many forms, including cell phones, other passengers, and even the dashboard. Encourage your teens to keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road, and their mind on driving. Discuss all of the ways that distraction can happen in the car and help them find their own solutions for overcoming distraction.
- Passengers: Passengers are a risk for teens, since studies have shown the more passengers there are in a car, the more at risk of accidents teen drivers are. Young drivers right now are also facing an additional risk with passengers, since other people in an enclosed space such as a car can transmit COVID-19. Consider limiting the number of passengers your teenager can have in their car, so they can keep their full focus on the road.
- Peer pressure: Everyone is subject to peer pressure, but younger drivers under the age of 21 may be especially vulnerable. They may wish to impress their friends or may be worried about being left out of group activities if they say “no” to risky behavior. Discuss what peer pressure looks like and together with your child talk about ways they can get out of peer pressure situations.
If your teen has been injured by a dangerous driver or someone’s negligence, contact a car accident attorney in Homestead to discuss your situation. Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead car collision attorney.