My son is seventeen and, thankfully, a safe and conscientious driver. I partially contribute his driving skill to his love of car-driving video games. This may sound silly, but his hours “behind the wheel” when he was younger were obvious when he was first practicing his parent-taught Drivers’ Ed and expertly parallel-parked my car! I’m not suggesting this is the way we should teach our young people to drive. It is merely an example of the way children can learn things differently and in a way that is familiar to them.
Many children start driving their family’s farm truck at a very young age. Parents put kiddos on their laps and let them pull the family car into the garage. Children far below the legal driving age are tooling around empty parking lots with their parents just to get the feel of driving in a safe place.
Most parents recognize their children’s strengths and weaknesses When it comes to driving and hopefully address them as their children learn to drive.
Schools are starting to close for the summer, which means a lot of freedom and independence for teenagers. There’s a lot to look forward to: Summer means road trips and other vacations, and even before that, there are proms and graduation ceremonies.
Car collisions are one of the most common and preventable types of accidents, and they can be some of the most dangerous. Even a small car wreck can change your teen’s life forever.
That’s why we recommend talking to your child about how to be safer on the road. Here are some topics to discuss.
Tips for Being a Safe Driver
Setting a good example for your child about being a safe driver is a good start, but having a conversation with them about road safety could mean saving their life. Stress that no one is invincible and the importance of being careful as well as keeping these safety tips in mind:
Don’t drive while distracted. Put away the cell phone, because that call or text can wait. If they need to grab something to eat, stop to eat it rather than trying to eat while driving. Avoid being distracted by loud music as well.
Don’t drink and drive. Indiana has zero tolerance laws for underage drunk driving, and alcohol can impair their judgment.
Be a defensive driver. Make sure they stay aware of where other cars are in relation to them and allow a safe following distance from the car in front in case they need to stop suddenly.
Wear a seatbelt. They can dramatically decrease their chances of dying in a car accident by making sure they stay in place inside the car if it crashes.
Follow speed limits. The limits exist for a reason, and they are the maximum speed they should be driving.
Be assertive. If their friends aren’t being safe drivers, encourage them to speak up. Embarrassment is better than getting hurt or even killed.
What You Could Lose
It’s possible that a lecture on being safe behind the wheel could get you some eye-rolling. Talking about the dangers that they’ll face on the road, rather than just listing safety tips, is also an important step. Encourage your child to pay attention and let them know what could happen if they don’t and they get into a car accident:
Their friends won’t trust them to be a safe driver.
They could lose their driver’s license.
They could face financial consequences: ticket prices, insurance rates, repairing or replacing the car, medical bills, and legal expenses could all come up as a result of a single traffic accident.
They could lose their chance at going to college or getting a job in the future.
They could face jail time.
They, someone they love, or even a total stranger could get hurt or killed.
Metro Doctors Group assists people who have sustained injuries in an automobile accident or at work. Our doctors treat all kinds of injuries, but specialize in musculoskeletal injuries.
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Many thanks to WKW for the info!