Protecting The Rights Of The Injured


3 safety rules that could save the lives of teen drivers

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

For teenagers, obtaining a driver’s license is one of the first steps toward true independence. For parents, sending teens out on the road can be nerve-racking. Motor vehicle collisions are one of the top causes of teenage mortality. For every young adult who loses their life in a crash, multiple others suffer significant injuries because of preventable collisions.

Young adults often do not focus enough on safety when driving. Their lack of experience only compounds the risk generated by their sometimes impulsive choices in traffic. Parents can help reduce the likelihood of certain types of incidents by creating and consistently enforcing the three rules below.

Limiting or forbidding teenage passengers

A young adult who obtains their driver’s license could drive their siblings to school or commute to a part-time job. It can take a lot of pressure off of the adults in the family to have a licensed teenage driver in the household. However, that convenience should not come at the cost of a teenager’s safety. Allowing a young adult to drive to school, a job or athletic practices but limiting the number of minor passengers they can transport could be a smart decision. Teenage passengers are a major source of distraction and may significantly increase the risk of a wreck. Allowing a young adult to drive themselves but not other teens places could increase a new driver’s safety.

Imposing a teen driving curfew

Curfews are often among the first rules that young adults try breaking when they rebel against their parents. A driving curfew is different than a bedtime. It requires that a young adult be home and off the roads by a certain time. Given that a large percentage of the worst crashes occur after dark, limiting a teenager’s driving after the sun sets can be a smart decision. Parents who give their young adults a chance to practice nighttime driving with adult passengers but who generally require that teen drivers get off the road when the sun sets may help protect their children from tragic nighttime crashes.

Deferring punishment for making the right choice

A parent who discovers that their teen has gone to a party and enjoyed beers or experimented with drugs with their friends might want to penalize their young adult. However, the possibility of punishment might lead to the teenager making a very dangerous choice. Those convinced they may face major penalties for violating curfew may try to drive home after drinking or doing drugs. Parents who have a family rule that reduces the punishment possible if a teenager calls for help when they shouldn’t drive because of other choices they have made could potentially save that child’s life.

Implementing thoughtful rules can go a long way toward reducing the risk of a teenage car crash. Parents who want to protect their teen drivers need to monitor their habits and follow through on rule enforcement consistently.