Children grow up fast. One minute it’s “Look, he’s taking his first steps!” and then, before you know it, it’s “Hey Ma, can I borrow your car?”
If you are the parent of a teen or soon-to-be teen in Florida, you know it won’t be long until your child is on the road, if they aren’t there already. According to the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are currently more than 780,000 licensed teen drivers in the state of Florida.
That’s a lot of teen drivers.
More than anything else, we strive to keep our children safe and out of harm’s way and as parents, there are usually no limits to how far we’d go to do that. But of course, at a certain point, it’s time to loosen up the reigns and give your teens the freedom to explore life on their own, which means giving up a certain sense of control. Handing over those car keys for the first time is a monumental moment in the sense that your child is now able to go and do as they please, and because you have to have faith in what will happen once your child gets on the road.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t guide your children towards following best safety practices for teen drivers.
At Wolf & Pravato, a leading Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale car accident law firm, we are in the business of helping people after they have been the victim of an auto accident, as reputable and respected car accident attorneys. Auto accident cases are on the rise as South Florida becomes a busier and more bustling area by the minute as travelers flock in droves to our roadways to take advantage of our beautiful beaches and vacation lifestyle. Wolf & Pravato has helped win thousands of car accident cases in favor of the victim to help ensure that they are reasonably compensated for their pain and suffering.
Car accidents can take all kinds of forms. There’s driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, negligence, reckless driving, head-on collisions, rollovers, rear-end collisions, side-impact collisions, sideswipe collisions, and even multiple-vehicle accidents. No matter what form your accident takes, being in an automobile accident should prompt you to call your car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Getting your lawyer involved from the onset ensures that you meet the limited window wherein you can file your claim. It also ensures that you have all the information needed and you’re not missing out on anything.
We want your teen driver to stay as safe as possible on the road this summer. Driver safety is crucial, and when it comes to young and newly licensed drivers on the road, sometimes you have to rely on experience and mistakes to teach you what you need to know.
We’ve put together our top tips to help keep your teen driver safe, for this summer and beyond.
This may seem like a no-brainer to most adults, but do you remember when you were a young driver and thought it was way cooler to nix the safety belts? Things haven’t changed much with today’s yonumberith the amount of accidents in South Florida, your children need to know that when it comes to buckling up, they have no choice. Have your teen driver instruct their passengers to buckle up as well. Remind them that their future as drivers depends solely on the safety precautions they take each time they get in the car, and their friends’ safety depends on them, too.
Sure, once your teen has their driver’s license in hand they’ll want to scoop up all of their friends for a joyride. But according to an article posted by the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, limiting the number of passengers in your child’s car is a top safety move. Less passengers means less distraction. New drivers are not experienced enough on the road to deal with multitasking while driving. Even a light conversation among friends is enough to distract a teen driver, so make a rule with your teen that for their first few months on the road, they should only have one passenger with them at a time.
Get Directions Ahead of Time
When driving to a new location, have your teen read and understand directions ahead of getting in the car. Even with today’s modern technological advances in navigation and built-in mapping systems, taking your eyes off the road to glance at directions can be a deadly disaster waiting to happen. Have your child read over driving directions before getting behind the wheel, and at the very least, have them input the address of their destination before starting the car. This will avoid any fumbling or confusion that can add stress to your teen driver’s experience on the road. Less stress equals less chances of a mess.
Stay Filled Up
Your teen driver should never hit the road without a full gas tank. Summer joyriding can go on for hours, especially with no school on the agenda and lots of fun to be had. Many teens may not know the limits when it comes to driving around with the gas light on, so your children should not ride around with the gas gauge lower than a quarter of a tank and risk getting stranded somewhere far from home.
Do Not Disturb
If your teen driver has an iPhone and their new car has Bluetooth connectivity, chances are your child can take advantage of the new ‘Do Not Disturb’ driving function. If they can, make it a non-negotiable that your child implores this life-saving tool. Texting and driving is one of the deadliest mistakes any driver can make, especially a teen who is always plugged in to what is happening with their friends or on social media. Click here to learn how to turn the Do Not Disturb function on for your child to use.
No Drinks, No Drugs, No Problem
Look, it has to be said – your teen will eventually be in a situation where alcohol or drugs will be present. No matter how they try to avoid it or how hard you try to steer them away from this type of behavior, your child needs to be prepared for how to handle themselves should they end up in a situation where illegal substances are present. First, inform them that if a friend were to bring alcohol or drugs in their car, they themselves would also take the heat since it’s their car that is on the road. Secondly, encourage open lines of communication and let your child know that if they end up at a party where alcohol or drugs are present, that they can call you for help or a ride without the risk of getting in trouble for being in a questionable situation.
For all other advice on how to keep your teen safe on the road, The Ft. Lauderdale car accident attorney’s at Wolf & Pravato is happy to answer any of your questions.
Here’s to a safe and enjoyable summer for your new driver!