After spending years protecting your child from all sorts of danger, it can be nerve-wracking when they take to the California roadways as drivers for the first time. The good news is that your teen can avoid road injuries, property damages and even lawsuits if you are aware of the common risks that they are exposed to and guide them towards taking the necessary precautions.
1. Distracted driving
The most common form of distracted driving is cellphone use, which includes talking on the phone, texting, taking photos and browsing social media. When a driver is focused on anything other than the road, their reaction time slows down, and their ability to make good decisions is impaired, which can lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Teens are more likely than any other age group to be involved in speeding-related accidents. This often stems from the excitement of finally having the freedom that comes with driving. They also tend to underestimate the dangers of speeding and overestimate their abilities behind the wheel.
3. Too many friends in the car
Teens are easily swayed by peer pressure. When a friend dares your child to do something dangerous, like speeding or racing, they are more likely to do it without thinking about the consequences. Additionally, a car full of rowdy friends can be a distraction in and of itself.
4. Driving under the influence
Of course, we all know that drinking and driving is illegal for anyone under 21. However, that doesn’t stop many teens from doing it anyway. They often think they can handle their alcohol better than adults or that they won’t get caught. Unfortunately, this risky behavior can easily lead to an accident with serious injuries or even death.
Taking the time to have a conversation with your teen about these risks and how to avoid them can make all the difference. Help them understand that, as fun as driving is, it is a serious responsibility. You might want to consider enrolling your child in a defensive driving course.