Learning to drive is huge milestone, one that is as frightening for Kansas City parents as it is exciting for their teenage drivers. Novice drivers are particularly prone to having accidents and statistics consistently show that drivers between the age of 16 and 19, both men and women, have the highest accident rates and account for many fatalities. While parents might feel safer keeping their teenager from driving, for many, this simply is not an option. Here is what parents can do to help their teenagers follow safe driving practices.
Get the Safest Car
Deciding if your teenager will have a car or not is the prerogative of individual families. If you do decide to buy them a vehicle, make sure to choose the safest and most reliable car possible. Whether you are buying a completely new vehicle or a used model, remember to keep advanced safety features, including side-air bags, head restraints, anti-lock brakes, all-wheel drive, and electronic stability control in mind.
Drive Solo Or With Adults
While your teenager may do their best to drive safely on their own, adding a single teenage passenger doubles the risk of an accident. In fact, the risk escalates for each additional passenger. This is why it’s best to only let your teenager drive with other adults or by themselves.
No Cell Phone Usage
Although Missouri does not specifically have any laws against cell phone usage, it is illegal for motorists under the age of 21 to text while driving. Regardless of the law, mobile device usage is one of the leading cause of teenage deaths nationwide and parents should highly discourage their teenage driver from using their cell phone while on the road.
Obey All Traffic Laws and Speed Restrictions
Traffic laws and regulations are in place to keep all drivers safe. For teenagers, speeding is a huge contributor to accidents. Because most of us are tempted to speed on occasion and it may seem like other drivers are flying by, parents should be adamant that their teenagers follow speed limits.
Staying focused on driving can be difficult when you have the radio blasting, or are eating, drinking, putting on makeup, or doing any number of other distracting activities drivers regularly engage in. New drivers are far more likely to lose control of their vehicle or fail to notice hazards, a risk that dramatically increases with distractions.
Practice What You Preach
Teenagers are already rebellious by nature so remember to practice what you preach. Talk to your teenager about what kind of driving practices you expect and then follow them when you are driving as well.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you focus on safety, the chances are high that your teenager may be involved in an accident. If your teenager has an accident or is injured in one, you may need to work with an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney. Contact Krause and Kinsman Law Firm in Kansas City, Missouri for a free consultation regarding your car accident and how you can receive compensation.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.