Teen Driving Safety: Tips to Help Keep Your Teen Safe on the Road

In their first year of driving, one in five 16-year-olds is involved in an accident. During 2010, 2,700 people aged 16-19 were killed in a motor vehicle accident. Keeping our kids safe on the road has never been more difficult. Whether they're listening to music, eating, or texting while driving, there's an increasing list of potential distractions for today's teen drivers.

While it is the responsibility of each individual to make intelligent decisions, it's the job of parents to prepare their children for how to deal with these potential risks before they get on the road. With National Teen Driving Safety Week (Oct. 20-26) approaching, there's no better time to broach this topic. How can we prevent our youth from putting themselves and their friends in danger on the road? There are plenty of resources available these days.

  • Back to basics: Let's not forget the easy stuff. Wear your seat belt, observe the speed limit, use caution in bad weather, keep your car well maintained, and, of course, don't drink and drive. These methods may seem simple, but they're the key to ensuring safety on the road.
  • Technology: While cell phones have become a major distraction to drivers, there are solutions to help prevent them from effecting teen drivers. Two applications I like are "Safe Driving Text Machine" and "Drive Safe," both of which can automatically respond to texts and calls or block them.
  • Driver's education: Yes, everyone does have to take a course to get their license, but why not extend that knowledge? A variety of online and in-person classes are available to enhance your teen's driving skills. A simple web search will give you plenty of local or web-based options.
  • Co-pilot: There's no better way to pass on driving knowledge than to actively participate. Go for a ride with your teen and observe areas where improvements can be made. When you're driving, practice what you preach and set a good example. Simply being a part of your child's development as a driver can make a huge difference.

Working these methods into your teen driver's routine is crucial to ensuring their safety, but one of the most powerful tools we haven't discussed is stating the facts. Attorney Phillip Miller recently sponsored a teen driving safety infographic with some informative data. Seeing how many teens are involved in accidents is staggering and reaffirms that we continue to struggle with this issue. Show your teen the facts so he or she knows just how important it is to stay safe. Happy driving and stay safe!

Jason Zimelman is a public relations and community outreach coordinator for a Nashville personal injury law firm, Miller Law Offices.

Posted by Jason Zimelman on Oct 16, 2013