The average American driver will have to file an auto accident claim once every 17.9 years. There’s no doubt distracted driving on the part of teenagers is a definite contributor to the statistic. There are various reasons teens engage in distracted driving. From sending text messages to being preoccupied with other youngsters in the vehicle, these dangerous distractions are amplified when combined with a teen’s inexperience. This is exactly why parents need to understand the importance of teaching their teens responsibility behind the wheel.
1. Keep Teen out of Legal Trouble
One of the biggest reasons to teach teens responsibility behind the wheel is so they stay out of legal trouble. A teen should never, for instance, have a group of their friends in the vehicle. This can distract them, and knowing this, many states have outlawed the practice. One Chicago accident lawyer states,
“The key to the accident is that it was caused by someone else and they were considered negligent in one way or another.”
From avoiding charges as minor as these to avoiding serious charges related to causing accidents, teaching a teen to be responsible can keep them out of the legal system.
2. Keep Teen Safe on the Roads
Teenagers involved in unsafe driving put themselves at risk. Even the quickest text message, for instance, can result in a teen not looking at the road for the length of a football field. Additionally, teens that text and drive spend, on average, a full 10 percent of their driving time on the outside of the lane they’re supposed to be in. This is highly unsafe, and can result in serious harm to a teen and others.
3. Keep Others Safe on the Road
Every parent worries about their child’s safety, but it’s also important to care for others on America’s roads. Teens who are texting while driving, for instance, are up to 23 times more likely to crash. This aside, many states outlaw texting while driving, and in some states, such as Illinois, it’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile device at all while driving.
It’s important to note, however, in many instances of these crashes, there are other drivers involved. If a teen texts while driving, or engages in any other distracted behavior, they can harm others on the road. If these accidents are particularly injurious or even fatal, though, a teen could end up in jail for a very long time.
4. Lower Insurance Premiums
Teaching a child responsibility behind the wheel can keep their parents’ insurance premiums down. Most teens are covered on their parents’ insurance, and if they manage to avoid citations and accidents, they can ensure these premiums don’t skyrocket.
5. More Free Time for Parents
While this definitely isn’t the most important reason, it sure may feel like it if a parent doesn’t teach their teen to be responsible in automobiles. A teen who gets into even minor legal trouble related to their driving may lose their license for years on end. This will result in a parent having to continuously drive their teen back and forth everywhere they need to go. A little responsible driving on the part of a teen, though, can free up a lot of time for a parent.
Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, but this is especially the case for young drivers. Without a parent who will at least try to teach them responsibility behind the wheel, teens will undoubtedly go down the proverbial wrong road and could end up facing life-changing consequences. From paying for driving safety classes to downloading apps that restrict texting when a teen is driving, there are a variety of methods to keep teens safe on the roads. Luckily, sometimes it only takes understanding the necessity of this task for a parent to do what is right.
Lisa Coleman shares some tips about the importance of teaching teens responsibility when it comes to texting and driving, and to encourage safe habits. She recently read online at the website of a Chicago accident lawyer about the serious legal implications that can accompany such a charge.
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