For many teens, their 15th birthday is a day that changes their lives. After a decade and a half in the passenger seat, it is finally their turn to get behind the wheel. Then, they turn 16, and they can drive on their own – their first real-life taste of pure independence.
Of course, with the privilege of driving comes great responsibility. has one of the highest car accident rates in the nation, and teen drivers unfortunately play a significant role in the state’s high rate of collisions and fatalities. But, with the right training and support, teen drivers can learn to be safe, and they can develop positive habits that will help them protect themselves (and others) on the roads.
Five Tips for Improving Teen Driver Safety
1. Get the Most Out of Your Teen’s Learner’s License.
In Florida, teens can obtain a Learner’s License on their 15th birthday with a Parental Consent Form and satisfactory completion of a Traffic Law and Substance Education (TLSAE) course and Class E Knowledge Test. With a Learner’s License, teens can drive accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old.
If your teen has his or her Learner’s License, get as much benefit from it as you can. Take your teen driving regularly, and provide constructive feedback as he or she learns under your supervision.
2. Make Sure Handheld Devices Are Out of Reach.
Distracted driving is among the leading causes of car accidents nationwide, and research shows that teen drivers are among the most likely to cause accidents texting behind the wheel. Impress upon your teen the dangers of using his or her behind the wheel, and establish a rule that handheld devices must always be out of reach while driving. These accidents can be life-threatening or lead to serious injuries.
3. Limit the Number of Passengers in Your Teen’s Vehicle.
Passengers are distractions as well, and new drivers should gain practice driving with an adult or by themselves (once they obtain their full driver’s license) before taking friends or siblings on the road.
4. Set a Good Example.
If you are like most drivers, you may have developed a few bad habits over the years. Whenever you are driving with your teen, focus on correcting these habits and showing your teen what it is like to be a responsible driver. This means putting away your phone, obeying traffic signals, avoiding road rage, and driving at or below the posted speed limit. It’s also worth getting a dash cam installed in case of an accident.
5. Let Your Teen Know You Care.
Finally, let your teen know you care. Teens often feel invincible, and letting your teen know that: (i) they face real risks while driving; and, (ii) you want them to develop into a safe, responsible driver can go a long way.
Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers
At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, we provide experienced legal representation for car accident victims in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. If you or your teen has been injured in an accident, call me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally at 561-202-6673 for a free consultation today.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.