It is important that only qualified and licensed drivers over the age of 16 are allowed to operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, some children drive before they are 16 and before they have gotten the proper training and licensing. This puts not only them but others around them in danger as these drivers do not have the skills to drive safely and may not know how to execute turns, stops or other moves safely. They may also be more prone to excessive speeds or dangerous maneuvers when compared with licensed drivers.
There are many reasons why teenagers who are under the age of 16 decide to drive without a license. In some cases, they are passionate about video games or movies which show driving and are eager to try it for themselves. In other cases, older friends encourage them to drive in isolated areas just to try out this form of freedom. Sometimes, peer pressure contributes to underage driving. In all cases, it is a serious risk. Underage driving can mean a visit from the police and can land your child in trouble. Worse, your child can be seriously injured or even fatally injured in a car crash caused by an inexperienced driver. You need to be concerned not only with your own child getting behind the wheel, but with your child being in a car with an underage driver.
There are a few ways to address this hazard:
- Know where your children are. Maintain good communication with your children and know who your children’s friends are. Use social media or cell phones to keep track of your kids and to understand their schedules. This helps you notice if they are suddenly spending time with older teens who may already be driving or if they are spending a lot of time somewhere where underage driving can take place (such as off-road areas).
- Talk about the dangers of underage driving and risky driving. When watching television or movies, talk about the consequences of unsafe driving, drag racing, and other risks. Ask your children why they think teenagers need to wait until the age of 16 to learn to drive and talk to them about driving safety. Instead of simply lecturing them about the importance of never getting in the car with an underage driver, ask your children for feedback and their own ideas about underage driving. Your children are more likely to take this topic seriously if they feel they are being heard and if they get a chance to discuss their own ideas with you, too.
- Place keys where children cannot find them. Make sure your children cannot take your car without your permission by hiding the keys or keeping them locked up when they’re not in use. If you keep them where your children know they are, it can be too tempting to reach for them.
- Have serious consequences for your children. If your child drives without a license, they should face serious consequences, such as the loss of privileges or the loss of an allowance. Consequences should remain in place for some time to ensure children don’t try to drive again until they are licensed to do so.
If your child has been injured by a dangerous driver, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) to speak to a car accident attorney in Hollywood. Our Hollywood car accident attorneys are compassionate and have the trial and negotiation experience to help you seek fair compensation to pay for your child’s medical care and other services. Your first consultation with us is free and comes with no obligation.