Teenagers can often be a mix of excitement, hesitation and recklessness when they start driving. They know the laws; many of them take the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle seriously. However, they can make mistakes and fall victim to peer pressure when they are behind the wheel.
Whether parents trust their teen drivers or doubt their novice driving skills, it is crucial to remind them how dangerous common teen driving behaviors are.
- Speeding: Driving too fast makes it easier for a person to lose control. It gives them less time to stop and it can increase the amount of damage done in a collision. Thus, obeying speed limits is essential.
- Using a phone: Teens rarely put their phones down. However, they must put them away when they are driving. Not only is it illegal in California to use a handheld device while driving, but it is also a significant distraction.
- Driving while impaired: Alcohol and drugs impair a person in many ways. They can slow reflexes, compromise a person’s decision-making skills and make a person unable to consider risk appropriately. Thus, teens should never operate a motor vehicle if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Driving with other people in the car: Passengers can be just as distracting as a cellphone, especially teenagers. When there are several people in the car, there can be a lot of activity, noise and movement that can distract a driver. Parents can protect young drivers by restricting the number of people who can ride in the car with them.
- Aggressive driving: Teens do not always appreciate the consequences of their actions. Thus, they may drive recklessly and take unnecessary risks, putting themselves and others on the road in real danger.
Teenage drivers may think they know everything about safe driving, and many will bristle when parents try to remind them of what they should and should not do when they drive.
However, having ongoing conversations about responsible driving can be crucial in protecting your children from a serious car accident.