Have You Taught Your Teen Driver How To Stay Alive?

Teen Driver – It’s A Dangerous Game

Distracted Teen Driver

Distracted Teen Driver

As a Nashville automobile accident attorney for nearly three decades I have come to watch accident trends and I’d like to share an important one with you. If you are parents or grandparents of a Teen Driver it might well scare the wits out of you to know that 50% of teens will be involved in a car accident before they graduate from high school.

During the last several weeks I have noticed an up-tick in teen driver accidents just in the last several weeks. Described by Brentwood police as “one of the most violent crashes we’ve ever seen.”, it appears that a teen driver entered the off ramp of I-65 at McEwen Lane at a very high rate of speed, failed to slow down sailed across two westbound lanes and five eastbound lanes of traffic, jumped two medians before careening down the onramp embankment rolling numerous times. Police reported that the engine, center console and seats separated from the SUV after the initial impact and landed in the Drury Plaza Hotel parking lot about 80 feet away.

In another teen driver accident five high school students left McGavock HS for lunch and had a roll over accident as they returned to school. From News reports the 16 year-old driver attempted to pass a slow moving car when she hit a curb and swerved back into traffic and slammed into an oncoming car. The car rolled and skidded upside down across a railroad track. One of the teens was thrown from the vehicle. Not all of them were wearing seatbelts as required by law. News reports said that the 16-year-old driver had gotten the vehicle just two days before. She was charged with careless driving and will face school charges for leaving school property.

Sadly several other teens were killed in an accident related to fleeing police and leading police on high-speed chases that, fortunately, did not injure or kill innocent drivers or pedestrians.

What Can A Parent Do?

Every state has laws governing teen drivers and many require Drivers Education courses in which the basics are taught. This is a good thing for parents to invest in. But, in my experience as a car accident attorney the best way to prevent your teen from becoming a statistic is hands on parenting.

Starting when they are 13-years-old parents should block out a time in which you get the driver’s guide and have your child study it. Once your child is familiar with the rules of the road take them driving. With them in the front passenger seat drive around your town and talk to them about what’s going on. Point out other driver behavior such as speeding, tailgating, cutting in and out of traffic and other things like failing to signal a turn. Do this regularly and after they have had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the process turn over the commentary to them. You are actually creating backseat drivers but I promise you this effort will pay of in making your child a better driver. The National Safety Council has a number of resources to help parents prepare their children for the time that they take to the highways and byways. Parents are the biggest influencers on their teen drivers, even if you think they aren’t listening.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sponsors Teen Driver Safety Week each year in October. Parents are the biggest influencers on their teen drivers, even if you think they aren’t listening. Parents are the biggest influencers on their teen drivers, even if you think they aren’t listening. Go to the sites linked in this article and educate yourselves so that you can educate your children and grandchildren.


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