For that fifteen year old who is counting down the days until they are able to go to the DMV, turning sixteen is not just about having another birthday. It signifies a rite of passage as they are transitioning into adulthood. It is this pivotal point in so many teenagers’ lives where they experience a sense of independence. As a licensed driver, you no longer have to rely on a parent or friend to get to the party, mall, or school event you have been waiting for, it can feel as if you are living without any restrictions. However, at the same point in which you are embracing your newly discovered sense of freedom, it is important to recognize that with that license and those car keys comes a great deal of responsibility to engage in safe driving practices.
Safe Driving Practices
Most new drivers are teenagers and according to the National Safety Council, half of all teens will be involved in an auto accident before they graduate from high school. Some of the initial safety tips fall on the shoulders of the parents of teenage drivers. The NSC urges that there is deficiencies or gaps in state laws ability to protect teen drivers which can be compensated for via household rules or agreements which set limits or controls on the number of allowed passengers, nighttime driving, or cell phone use.1 The second leading problem facing teenagers is their level of inexeperience.2 The NSC reports that teenagers typically are inexperienced when it comes to judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed, changing behaviors in relation to weather changes, or turning safely around obstacles.3 This is why is it is important for parents to remember that driving lessons do not need to end once a teen is licensed, it is beneficial to still take your son or daughter out driving in new or unfamiliar conditions so that they can learn from your experience.
The second part of improving road safety is to encourage new drivers to engage in safe and alert practices when behind the wheel. The Department of Motor Vehicle urges that adhering to safety tips not only protects yourself, passengers, and other pedestrians or motorists, but it also increases your chances of getting affordable car insurance. The DMV encourages teen or new drivers to not engage in texting and in fact keep cell phones off; even when phones are set in hands free mode there is a risk for cognitive distraction as your focus is removed from the road which can be just as dangerous are physical or visual distractions.4 Other important safety steps include keeping headlights on because they increase your visibility and helps others see you, obey speed limits even if you feel pressured by passing motorists, minimize distractions from sources such as the radio, food, drinks, or makeup, drive solo as much as possible, and practice defensive driving by being aware of the traffic that surrounds you and keep an escape route in mind.5
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been involved in an auto accident with a newly licensed driver, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.