Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Tips to keep a new driver safe

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You have spent the last 16 years keeping your son from falling down, getting lost, and making wrong choices. Now, looming on the horizon, is the threat of his Virginia driver's license. You will have to watch as he gets behind the wheel and drives away without you for the first time. It will not be easy and you are not looking forward to it, but you know sooner or later, the day will arrive.

Since you cannot stop your son from driving (no matter how much you would like to), you can take steps to prepare him. By spending time practicing defensive driving and other safety strategies, you will be able to prepare your child to not only make the right decisions while behind the wheel, but also to watch out for negligent, reckless or distracted drivers. Read further for some driving tips to share with your teenage driver.

Stay off the phone

We have all heard it before, using a cellphone while driving is dangerous. Even using it in hands-free mode takes attention away from driving. This means no talking, no texting and no checking Facebook or using Snapchat. This is true even when stopped.

If you are looking down at your phone while stopped at a light, that means you may not see the car coming from the other direction that is out of control. Or maybe you will not see the person coming up too fast behind you that may not be able to stop in time. Whether you are driving or stopped, you should always be paying attention to what is going on around you on the road.

Use the headlights

Many accidents occur because a driver does not see another car. In order to stay visible to other people, keep the headlights on morning, noon and night. Moving lights will draw the attention of other drivers so that they see you before taking an action that might result in a wreck.

Stay within the speed limit

Speed limits exist for a reason. They are in place to keep you and everyone else on the road safe. Even if the traffic around you seems to be ignoring the posted limit, do not feel like you need to keep up with them. By obeying the speed limit you will not only stay safe, but you will also avoid expensive traffic tickets.

No multitasking

While it may be tempting to eat an Egg McMuffin on the way to school, doing so while driving is not the most optimal time. Do not do anything that divides your attention while behind the wheel. Losing focus for even a few seconds can result in the loss of control, especially if you have a knee-jerk reaction to a hazard you were not watching for.

When it comes to avoiding an accident, preparation and experience are key factors. Unfortunately, no matter how much time you spend practicing with your son, you cannot control what other Danville drivers do. If your child has been the victim of an accident with a negligent driver, you may be able to fight for compensation for his injuries and the damage to his vehicle.

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