Tips for teaching your teenager to be a defensive driver

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It’s normal to be worried when your teenager gets behind the wheel on their own. After all, you know that there are a lot of aggressive drivers out there, and you might be worried that your teenager is ill-equipped to handle the realities of the road.

As stressful as that may seem, there are things that you can teach your kid to help keep them safe on the road. Here are some driving tips to discuss with your child so that they can be as defensive as possible, thereby reducing the risk that they will be involved in an accident:

  • Teach them about safe distance: A lot of teenage drivers are involved in rear-end crashes not because they’re distracted but because they’re simply following the car in front of them too closely. To better avoid this, it might be helpful to teach them that they need to keep at least 3 seconds between them and the vehicle in front of them. They can do this by counting after the vehicle in front of them passes something, then stopping counting once they, meaning your kid, pass it. If the time is less than 3 seconds, they need to slow down to create more distance.
  • Teach them awareness of their surroundings: A lack of awareness of their surroundings is another common cause of accidents involving teenagers. They might change lanes into another vehicle or pull out into traffic at the wrong time, causing a wreck. Therefore, it might be wise to remind your child to regularly check their mirrors and keep a look out for road hazards, pedestrians, bicyclists and erratic drivers. This will allow them to take defensive actions to protect themselves and others.
  • Teach them not to trust other drivers: A lot of drivers find themselves in trouble because they assume that other motorists will act appropriately. To better prevent an accident, teenage drivers need to expect that other drivers will act in a way that will put them in danger. This will force your child to act more defensively, which, in turn, will keep them safer.
  • Teach them about distracted driving: This seems obvious, and you may have already talked to your child about the dangers of texting and driving, but it doesn’t hurt to keep reminding them about the risks of distracted driving. It’s also helpful to point out to them that distracted driving involves much more than just texting and driving. It can also include messing with the radio, engaging passengers, eating, and even grooming. Finding some statistics online about distracted driving can help you hammer down the point.

There might be other ways to teach your child about defensive driving. Just think about what you do to keep yourself safe while driving and share your techniques with your kid. There’s never enough for your child to learn when it comes to safety.

What if your child is involved in an accident?

 If your teenager is involved in an accident, you need to start investigating to determine the cause of the wreck. If your child was acting appropriately and was merely a victim of another individual’s negligence, you might want to consider legal action. This might be the only way to recover compensation, which may actually be more extensive than you think.

Either way, we want you and your kids to be safe out there, and if something goes wrong, just know that legal teams like ours are out there to help.