Parents Guide to Teen Driving Behavior

Smiling woman using phone at the wheel of her car.
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Getting a driver’s license is a symbol of independence and freedom, but it also carries great responsibility. For parents, this can be a particularly emotionally charged milestone in their children’s life. While they are happy with their success, it is natural to be concerned about their safety also.

To have a better idea of how to help teens practice safe driving, it is important to understand some of the leading causes of car accidents. Although preventive measures are essential, so is knowing what to do after a car crash.

Leading Causes of Teen Driving Accidents

Teen driving behavior has its own characteristics and specific vulnerabilities. Parents need to be aware of these to outline a more targeted approach in preparing teens for the road.

Inexperienced Driving

A significant number of car crashes involving teens are caused by inexperience. It is advised to have a gradual approach to driving. In the beginning, it is better not to venture on long drives, rather stay within a radius around the home. Also, try to avoid busy highways and roads that are known to be dangerous.

No matter how careful the driver might be, not everything on the road falls under their control. More experienced drivers have honed in a set of skills and reflexes that help them respond to unpredictable situations. Until teens rise to that level, it is worth being extra cautious and practicing safe driving habits.

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Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a pressing problem for drivers of all ages. Technology can easily tempt even the most experienced and cautious driver to avert their eyes from the road. However, even a second’s lack of attention can lead to fatal consequences. If the driver is not alert and watching the road ahead, they might perceive an oncoming danger too late, with not enough time left to react.

In Mississippi, it is not advised to make or take calls while driving, not even with hands-free devices. For emergencies, drivers should pull over and park safely. The same rules apply to other activities as well, including texting and emailing.

Still, technology is not the only distraction. Eating or drinking while driving can be just as dangerous. Having coffee while driving to school can be time-saving, but this simple act can also be life-threatening. In Mississippi, a driver may get pulled over by a law enforcement officer for eating while behind the wheel if they categorize it as distracted driving. Therefore, try to eat and drink only when your car is parked.

Alert Communications

Speeding

Driving at an inappropriate speed may endanger everyone with whom the driver shares the road. The temptation to speed is greater for teens on empty roadways where they perceive the risk of being pulled over to be lower. At the other extreme are those who are overly cautious and drive too slow. This, in turn, can hinder the flow of traffic and frustrate other drivers.

What To Do After a Car Crash

While Gulfport is not a particularly dangerous area regarding driver safety, in 2019 a total of eleven vehicles were involved in fatal traffic accidents. When involved in a car crash, it is crucial to know how to react and what steps to take. Teens should carve these easy steps etched in their mind so that the information can be automatically accessed when needed:

  • Stay calm.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Call the police.
  • Contact the insurance company.
  • Assess damages done to the vehicle to determine if it is safe to stay inside.
  • Assess and document the scene of the accident.
  • Exchange contact information with the other driver.

To learn more about what legal paths are viable after a car accident, contact a qualified car crash lawyer in Gulfport. An experienced attorney can help you navigate legal grounds that are likely still uncharted territory for teens.

The Bottom Line

As parents of driving teens, the best thing to do is to ensure that they are equipped with all the knowledge and skills to be safe on the road. It is also very important to focus on offering a supportive environment for teens, since they might also struggle with their own concerns and insecurities regarding this new chapter in their lives.

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