What You Need to Know Before Your Teen Gets Behind the Wheel

teen driving

While your teenager is full of excitement as he or she heads over to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to obtain her driver’s license, you are full of anxiety.

You’ve seen the statistics.

You know that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that drivers ages 16-19 are three times more likely to be in a crash than drivers age 20 and older.  The same statistics hold true for fatal crashes, per mile driven.

Here is the information behind the statistics that you need to know:

  • Teenage male drivers are nearly twice as likely as females to be in a fatal crash.
  • The risk of a crash is highest in the first few months after a teen obtains a license.
  • New teen drivers often fail to recognize hazardous situations.
  • Teens driving with other teen passengers increases the risk of a crash.
  • Teens tend to speed more often than any other drivers.
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use.
  • Over 1/5 of all teen drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents were drinking.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Statistics 2010-2011

What can you do to reduce these risks for your new teen driver?

1.       Make Safety the First Priority.  Always.

In the first several months after your teen gets her license, be sure to:

  • Drive slowly and safely
  • Restrict number of passengers
  • Practice driving in poor weather conditions
  • Limit night driving

Always follow these critical rules anytime your teen drives:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Avoid driving when tired, angry, or upset
  • Comply with speed signs and traffic laws — no tailgating
  • Avoid cell phone use when driving
  • Never drive after drug or alcohol use

Finally, put this important safety rule in place:

  • Allow your teen the ability to call home for a ride (even if she has the car)– no questions asked.

2.       Select a Safer Car for Your Teen.

If you are considering purchasing a vehicle for your teen, look beyond the model, make and price.  Take a closer look at accident rates, year made , and overall safety features.    While you may know that small cars are considered less safe than larger, heavier vehicles, you may be surprised to find that SUVs have higher accident rates than 4-door sedans.  Also, if purchasing a used car, it’s important to know the year of make to determine if the vehicle has airbags and other safety features.

3.       Enroll Your Teen in an Advanced Driving Course.

Your teen may have his driver’s license, but more practice may be just what he needs before he gets out on the South Florida roads.  Parents can set limits on driving, register their teen for advanced driving courses, and follow a strict Graduated Driver Licensing program.

4.       Involve Your Teen in the Insurance Equation.

Insurance for teen drivers is costly.  Have your teen take an active role in pricing insurance, researching premiums and deductibles, understanding the factors that make up the vehicle insurance cost, and paying for it.

5.       Be a Role Model.

Always set the example.  As a reminder,

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Comply with speed signs and traffic laws
  • Avoid cell phone use when driving
  • Avoid alcohol before driving

Know a few other teen parents?  Share this article.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at 888-504-HURT (4878).