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Helping Your Teen Minimize Distractions While Driving

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Joliet car crash attorneysLearning to drive is not just a rite of passage for teens; it is also a necessary skill that they must learn before they leave home. Sadly, driving also places them at serious risk for death or injury. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, and 34 percent admit to driving distracted in the past month. Being that distraction can increase their risk of an accident by as much as 400 percent, parents are encouraged to use every strategy possible to reduce the risks of driving distractions for teens. The following tips can give you a place to start.

Start by Setting a Good Example

In a survey from TeenSafe, 40 percent of teens stated that they had been a passenger in a vehicle where the driver was using their smartphone. Sadly, some of those users may have been the teen's own parent. In such situations, the double-standard can cause a teen to completely disregard the rules of safe driving. In contrast, setting the example can reduce your teen's risk of driving while distracted. At the very least, seeing you mute, put away, or turn off your phone while driving may weigh on their conscience heavily enough that it encourages them to change their own poor driving behaviors.

Continue Supervised Driving Practice

Although distracted driving is an obvious cause of teen crashes, their lack of experience is actually a bigger factor in their high risk of an accident. Even when they are driving responsibly, someone may pull out in front of them, or they may have an animal run in front of them. Because they are still learning to drive – and therefore, how the vehicle responds to sudden motion or when pushed to its limits – they may overcorrect, under-correct, or even cause the vehicle to topple over.

Thankfully, parents can reduce the risk of such incidents happening to their teen by continuing their supervised driving practice, even after they receive their license. This time in the vehicle encourages them to act more responsibly, even when you are not there, and it gives them more time to practice and learn with an experienced driver in the car. These positive effects can ultimately decrease your teen's risk of an accident, even when they are driving alone.

Hold Your Teen to a Safe Driving Contract

While applications and other forms of technology can give you information about your teen's driving habits, they cannot enforce safe driving practices. Only you – the parent – can do that. Start by ensuring your teen knows the rules of the road. Even better, write out a contract, have them review it, sign it, and return it as a “binding document.”

If your teen breaks the rules of the contract, you can easily deliver the pre-determined consequence. If they object, just remind them that they did sign the contract. Studies suggest that parents who do this are significantly decreasing their teen's risk of an accident because, clearly, they want to drive. By having clear consequences for breaking the rules of the road, parents encourage teens to drive safely so they can maintain their driving privileges.

Was Your Teen Injured in an Accident?

When teens experience auto accidents, they are often seen as the negligent driver, but this is not always the case. In fact, teens may have been acting responsibly, only to encounter a negligent driver they were not experienced enough to avoid. Protect them from denied and reduced claims in these situations by contacting an experienced attorney for assistance.

At Tedone & Morton, P.C., we aggressively protect the rights of auto accident victims. Seasoned and knowledgeable, our Joliet car crash attorneys will not let someone else's pre-determined notions about teen drivers stand in the way of fair compensation. No matter what the circumstance, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Start by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call 815-666-1285 today.


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