Every teen looks forward to the day they finally get their driver’s license, but this same rite of passage instills fear and dread in many parents who appreciate the risk of teen car accidents. If your child is or will be driving soon, your concerns are understandable. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic crashes rank second among the leading causes of death for teens, with around seven fatalities every day in the 13- to 19-year-old age group. Motorists aged 16 to 19 years old are also three times as likely to be involved in a deadly car accident, as compared to drivers aged 20 and up.
The good news is that teen auto crashes are preventable. Of course, you know the risk is reduced when a parent is along for the ride, but you will not always be sitting shotgun to supervise. The best strategy is to focus on raising a safe, responsible driver who makes wise decisions when you are not around. The following tips can guide you in protecting your teen from Miami car accidents.
Choose a safe vehicle
Whether your teen will use the family car or purchase one, work together to pick a vehicle that is easy to drive and offers appropriate protection in the event of a crash. Consider the following factors:
- Smaller cars offer less protection.
- SUVs and trucks are more prone to rollovers when operated by inexperienced drivers.
- Performance vehicles tend to encourage speeding and recklessness.
Take advantage of driver’s education options
There are requirements for coursework and testing before teens can get their learner’s permit, and eventually their driver’s license. However, it is smart to go above and beyond the criteria under Florida’s driver’s licensing laws. Enroll your child in a driver’s education course to get that one thing young drivers absolutely need: Experience.
Pay attention to Florida’s graduated license system
The laws make it necessary for parents to be involved in their teen’s training and education for becoming a responsible driver. For instance, you will need to complete forms certifying that your child spent 50 hours behind the wheel to gain experience. Be strict about these duties, as they can only benefit your teenager.
Discuss top risks for auto accidents
There are many safety threats your child will encounter on the road, but there are certain risks that you really need to emphasize:
- Alcohol and drug use significantly increase the potential for accidents, and Florida has zero tolerance rules for teens regardless. Tell your teen to never get behind the wheel while impaired, and enforce punishment as necessary.
- Distracted driving is another high-risk activity, so mandate that your teen stow the phone at all times.
Set up a Free Consultation with Our Miami Car Accident Attorneys
To learn about your remedies if your teen was involved in a crash, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We are happy to schedule a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.