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New High School Drivers Hit the Road in September

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 14, 2018

If we could turn back time, many of us would choose to go back to the day we passed our driver’s exam. There aren’t many other occasions when you feel such a sense of exhilaration, excitement, and newfound independence.

However, newly minted drivers can be problematic on the road.

Teen drivers are dangerous for many reasons, especially in 2018. With all our technological advancements, it can be difficult for teens not to get distracted by their iPhones, with those endless text messages, Spotify playlists, and Instagram feed. Teens are also more prone to packing their car full of friends, who can be just as distracting as technology, if not more. If you add alcohol or drugs to the mix, it’s a potential recipe for disaster.

How Can I Keep My Teen Safe?

Teen drivers are less experienced on the road, so it is more probable that they will get into car accidents. Not only do they have inexperience going against them, but their brains are still developing, meaning they have somewhat worse motor skills than adults and are more prone to risk-taking while driving.

It’s important for parents to set a good example and teach kids about the consequences of unsafe driving. Crashes can be traumatizing, especially for teenagers. Say your son causes an accident; for the rest of his life, he will never be able to forget it if he ends up hurting someone else. Most car accidents can be prevented, but the process starts at home. Try to lead by example, and never use your cell phone or speed while in the car. You want your child to only pick up on your good habits.

Here are the things you can teach your teenagers to keep in mind about staying safe on the road:

  • Encourage them to take advantage of Uber and Lyft services. Especially if they are going to parties, or any events where drinking or smoking is a possibility. Almost every parent would rather get a big Uber bill than a hospital bill. You can also volunteer to drive yourself.
  • Remind them that they should never be using any app on their phone while driving. Directions and music should be programmed in before hitting the gas.
  • Don’t be part of the problem by relentlessly calling and texting your teenager. You may stress your teen out, or create the potential for a distracted driving incident.
  • Let them know about the essential safety features of driving, such as being sober, keeping a distance between their vehicle and other cars on the road, staying alert for any pedestrians, wearing a seatbelt, pulling over if they’re feeling sleepy, etc.

A big focus should be putting the smartphone into drive mode, so that as a driver, your teen is not tempted to peek at text messages or reply to DMs.

If Your Teen Gets Into an Accident…

Accidents happen to the best drivers. Don’t let your teen think it’s the end of the world if he or she does end up in an accident. Remind your teen to stay calm and exchange the necessary information.

Here are some helpful tips for your teen after a collision:

  • Stay calm and move out of the street if it’s possible. You don’t want to cause another accident by staying in everyone’s way.
  • Get medical help immediately if necessary. Call an ambulance to the scene if necessary.
  • Call your parents.
  • Gather witness contact information.
  • Call the police so they can come to the scene and file an official accident report.
  • Collect the other driver’s information and take photos.
  • Call a lawyer.

If someone you love has been involved in a car accident and sustained physical injuries, chances are you’re badly shaken up. You might not know what your next steps should be as you’re taking care of your child while trying to pay the medical bills. It’s difficult trying to figure out how to gather evidence or if you should pursue a claim. That’s why it’s important to hire a knowledgeable Seattle teen car accident attorney who can handle your claim for you. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation. We have a whole team of former insurance adjusters who are here to help.

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