Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

The way teens learn how to drive is very important

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One of the most at-risk demographics on the road today is teenagers. Teen drivers inherently have less experience than any other driving demographic; they are more prone to making silly decisions and mistakes, such as texting while driving, driving erratically or losing focus of the road; and, in general, they get in to more accidents. Teen driving accidents can be especially devastating, as their youthful exuberance and inexperience can result in car accidents that occur at high speeds.

Ultimately, teens have to go through this "dangerous" period of driving. They have to get the experience necessary to safely operate their vehicles for the rest of their lives. When they don't learn safe lessons and cause a crash, they -- like anyone who drives a motor vehicle negligently and causes an accident -- could be sued in civil court.

So how do we combat teen driving negligence and promote good learning lessons for teens behind the wheel? According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the way to accomplish these two things is for parents to be more involved with their kids' driving, and for parents to use graduated driver licensing (GDL) guidelines.

The GHSA study found that teens who had parents who established driving rules, monitored their development and activities, and encouraged or supported them to safely learn how to drive were:

  • 71 percent less likely to drive drunk
  • 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while behind the wheel
  • 50 percent less likely to get into an accident
  • less likely to speed

The way teens learn how to drive matters, and hopefully this study can be applied more universally to help parents understand how to effectively teach their teens the safe way to drive.

Source: Forbes, "Teens With Parents Who Set Driving Rules 71% Less Likely To Drive Drunk, GHSA Says," Tanya Mohn, Oct. 22, 2013

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