What D.C. parents can do to help their teen become a safer driver

There are several things parents of teen drivers can do to help their teen become a safer driver.

Teenage drivers, or specifically those between the ages of 16 and 19 years old, are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than any other age group, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those in this age category are also three times more likely than those over the age of 20 to get into a fatal car accident. While many parents of teenage drivers worry abut the safety of their children, there are steps they can take to help their teen become a better, safer driver.

What to do

First and foremost, parents should set a good example for their teenage driver. Parents should remember that if they do not follow the driving rules they set, their teen will be less likely to follow them as well. This means parents should refrain from using their cellphone in any way, obey the speed limit and wear their seatbelt whenever they drive.

Parents should also explain to their teen that driving is a privilege. Before giving their teenager the keys, they should let their teen know what they expect out of their driving behavior. One way to enforce this agreement is to form a parent-teen contract that details the rules regarding texting and driving, speeding, alcohol use and driving passengers. This will ensure parents and their teen drivers remain on the same page.

What not to do

While teaching their teen to drive and helping them maintain safe driving habits, there are several things parents should avoid doing. These include the following:

  • Parents should avoid being negative or critical when they drive with their teen. Instead, they should try to maintain a supportive, positive atmosphere.
  • Parents should not allow their teen to use their smartphone for any purpose behind the wheel. For this reason, parents should refrain from texting or calling their teen when they know they are driving.
  • Parents should not put their teen in stressful driving situations at the beginning. Rather, they should gradually allow their teen to try out different driving scenarios as they gain experience, such as driving at night or driving when it is raining.

Overall, parents should not forget that safe driving can help their teenager avoid serious injuries and the other repercussions that come from involvement in a collision.

Contact an attorney

Even though parents in the District of Columbia may try to help their teen become a safe driver, they cannot control the actions of other drivers. Those who were involved in an injurious car accident should reach out to an attorney in their area for legal assistance.