While being a new driver is an exciting time in a young person’s life, it also comes with a few responsibilities. We do not often stop to think about the inherent danger of putting ourselves behind the wheel of a 4,000 lb. vehicle and driving at high speeds among the other traffic on the road. Once you factor in the ever increasing number of distractions we face each minute, the picture becomes clear. Driving is a privilege. At times it can seem relaxing and enjoyable, it also important to be aware of its many risks If you are the parent of a new teenage driver in Houston, here are our tips for helping your teen stay safe on the road:
- Limit Your Number of Passengers: Studies have shown that teenage drivers are 50% more likely to be in a fatal accident when they have one teenage passenger in the car. This statistic doubles with two passengers and triples with three or more. By limiting the number of passengers, you can limit the number of distractions and allow yourself to fully focus on your surroundings.
- Know What is Happening Around & Ahead: New drivers have a tendency to fixate on the car directly in front of them, but this can be dangerous. Safe driving requires an understanding of the traffic around you, including bicycles and pedestrians. Practice expanding your field of vision so that you can have a full awareness of your surroundings. This allows you to drive proactively instead of reactively, and anticipate what you may need to do. You can even practice this as a passenger.
- Apply the Two-Second Rule: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 165,000 accidents occur every year that are caused by red light runners. Do not be tempted to take off quickly when the light turns green. Instead, wait two seconds and allow the traffic to pass. This simple rule could save you from countless accidents.
- Texting Can Wait: Texting while driving puts everyone at risk for numerous reasons. First, it requires your eyes to be completely off the road for at least a few seconds at a time. Second, it requires a hand to hold the phone, leaving only one hand on the steering wheel. Third, it is a mental distraction and takes your attention off the road. Make it a practice to store your phone away while you’re driving, or make a quick stop every hour to check your messages.
We understand the excitement of being a new driver on the road. Everyone wants to get to their destination safely, so we must take our responsibilities seriously. If your teen has been injured in an auto accident in Houston, we are here to help you navigate the legal process. We are committed to defending our client’s rights and seeking fair compensation. Call our office today to discuss how we can help and to schedule your free consultation. We’re available 24/7 to take your call. For more articles like this one, make sure to visit our blog or check out Bumper to learn about teen driver-related fatalities.