Updated June 29, 2022

How Do I Talk to My Teen About Responsible Driving?

Car collisions are one of the most common and preventable types of accidents, and they can be extremely dangerous. Even a small car wreck can change a victim’s life forever.

When teenagers get behind the wheel of a car, there is a lot for them to look forward to: freedom, independence, and fun. But teens don’t have as much driving experience as the adults around them do, so it’s even more important that they practice safe driving.

That’s why we recommend talking to your child about how to be safer on the road. Here are some topics to discuss.

Why Is Youth Traffic Safety Awareness Important?

The Allstate Foundation and the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) sponsor Youth Traffic Safety Awareness Month each May with the help of the government, corporate leaders, communities, parents, and young people.

The fact that teenage lives get busier near the end of the school year increases the need to raise awareness of teen driving safety: May, June, July, and August can be some of the most dangerous months for young drivers. The most tragic part of a car accident is that most of them are preventable with a bit of attention and education.

While you can talk to your child at home about the dangers of the road and encourage them to be a safe driver, it’s possible that you’ll need a bit of extra help. That’s where the extra safety initiatives this month can help.

Youth Traffic Safety Awareness Month focuses on educating young people about traffic safety and empowering young people with knowledge and positive influences. It does this through student engagement with each other and within their communities. Using a peer-to-peer approach, which can reach young people in ways that teachers or parents might not be able to, the ultimate goal is to get teenagers engaged and involved in their own efforts to keep themselves and their friends safe.

Playing an active role in making safe and smart decisions gives teens the independence they crave, and holding one another accountable helps ensure they’re paying attention, rather than tuning out a lecture.

How Can I Talk to My Child About Driving Safely?

Teenagers driving dangerously risk injuring or killing themselves or someone else; losing everything from their driver’s license to their ability to get a job or go to college; paying a lot of money in ticket costs, insurance rates, repairs, and legal expenses; and going to jail.

Explain these safety tips to your teens:

  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Avoid all distractions, including texting or talking on the phone, eating, or listening to loud music
  • Be a defensive driver rather than an aggressive one
  • Speak up if your friends are being dangerous drivers
  • Follow speed limits; they exist to keep you safe
  • Don’t drink and drive under any circumstances—it’s illegal and extremely dangerous

All teenagers are different, but it’s important for them to understand that the consequences for driving dangerously can be life-changing physically, mentally, and emotionally.

What Consequences Can Teens Face on the Road?

It’s possible that a lecture on being safe behind the wheel could get you some eye-rolling. Talking about the dangers teenagers will face on the road, rather than just listing safety tips, is also an important step.

Encourage your teens to pay attention and let them know what could happen if 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

You know your teens best. Having an open and informed conversation about safe driving is one important way to keep them safe on the road.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

The road isn’t always a safe place for your children to be, but you can’t keep them off of it forever. As a parent, you can help teach them how to be as safe and defensive of a driver as possible. As car accident attorneys, we can help you build a case if an accident does happen.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car crash, you are urged to contact an Indianapolis car accident lawyer from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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