A rite of passage for every child is the day they reach driving age… It's a huge day for parents too! How can you help your child make this important transition smoothly and safely as a parent?
We have some tips:
- Don't be shy about letting a professional driving instructor do the teaching. Teenagers often have trouble "hearing" a parent. What's more – it's impossible to be a detached instructor when the driver is your child. Just doesn't work that way. And then there is the matter of your bad habits – habits the children know well. How do you credibly tell your child to do one thing when you do another?
- If you do some of the teaching - give your teen gentle, constructive critiques of their driving, and always keep your temper in check
- Ok. This one is obvious. Set a good example. Don't use a cell phone while driving. Don't drink or use drugs and drive. Don't perform tasks that distract you from your driving. Always wear a seatbelt. Carefully observe traffic laws…
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of driving – not just the dangers of driving intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. Driving is a dangerous activity. The average driver files a car accident claim approximately every 17 years. And the odds of dying in a car accident in your lifetime are 1 in 112. According to the National Institutes of Health, a brand-new driver is eight times more likely to have an accident than someone with a year of experience.
- Stay involved in the process and make sure they practice. Research shows that ensuring your child has at least 65 hours of supervised practice under various conditions significantly lessens their odds of having a car accident.
- Have rules and set limits. While they constantly remind us they don't want our advice – teenagers actually thrive when there are boundaries and limits. It's ok to impose driving curfews – in fact, it's recommended. In Connecticut, it's illegal for 16 and 17-year-olds to drive between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am. And it's ok to limit the distance a child travels alone or the types of highways they can use initially. Remind them that there are very strict laws in effect for young drivers regarding cell phones and driving and passengers and driving as well.
- Make sure your teen knows exactly what to do in the event of an accident or a mechanical breakdown.
- Finally – make sure the car(s) your teen drives are mechanically safe and safest in the event of an accident.
Research shows that you can cut your teenager's risk of a serious car accident by half by staying involved, setting rules, and being supportive. Having a parent involved in a teen's life matters!
If you or your child are ever injured in a car accident, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for over 65 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.