According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), car crashes are one of the leading preventable causes of death among teens. In addition to this, teens are more likely to speed, drink and drive, engage in risky behavior and avoid using seat belts. Below explains four ways how you can respond to your teen’s problematic driving behavior.
Teenagers often struggle to find the right balance between being independent and doing what is right. Many parents are understandably upset and directly confront their teens about their bad driving habits. This may only exacerbate the situation and worsen the teen’s driving behavior. Instead of demanding that your teen immediately reads the latest DMV driving handbook, offer to read it together. Focus on your teen’s lack of experience and not that fact that they are simply a teen. If your teen is especially sensitive, consider having someone they look up to talk to them. If possible, have this same person drive with them to improve their driving skills.
Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) Programs
The CDC estimates that GDL programs can reduce up to 40 percent of crashes that result in injuries or fatalities. GDL programs allow teen drivers to gain experience before getting full driving privileges. The Governors Highway Safety Association breaks down GDL programs into three stages: learner, intermediate and full privileges. Instead of refusing to allow your teen to drive, consider allowing them to start early and progress through the different stages.
Consult an Attorney
If your teen is facing legal issues from their reckless driving habits, consider consulting with an attorney. A competent attorney can help you navigate through the confusing legal system, prepare a good defense and will seek to have the charges reduced. As an added benefit, bringing your teen to discuss their problematic driving behaviors with an attorney is an excellent way to make them aware of the seriousness of their situation. The opposite may also be the case, wherein your teen was hit by a reckless driver and has to recoup medical costs. Bachus & Schanker Law and similar firms can help you and your teen get your compensation.
Use a Teen-Parent Driving Contract
Teenagers are well-known for forgetting or breaking promises regarding driving expectations. Many arguments and headaches can be saved through formally signing a teen-parent driving contract. This will allow you to set clear expectations and consequences for inappropriate or dangerous driving. It will also set the benefits of safe and proper driving. Most major insurance companies offer printable contacts on their websites. For example, Allstate offers state-based contracts, which include applicable statistics and state driving laws. Find your driving contract at Allstatefoundation.org.
In conclusion, parents can successfully manage their teen’s problematic driving habits through avoiding confrontation, using a GDL program, consulting an attorney and using a driving contract. Learn more teen driver facts from the CDC website.