As your children grow up, they’re bound to come face-to-face with the dangers of the world. Some of them are the risks associated with driving. Those who drive negligently can put your child in harm’s way, and if your kid isn’t prepared to take defensive action, then there may be little they can do to protect themselves from one of these devastating collisions.
Fortunately, you can help teach your child how to stay safe out on the road. You’ll need to be diligent with them and constantly remind them of what they’re doing and what they should be doing, even if it annoys them. After all, there’s nothing more important than keeping your child safe.
Safe driving practices to teach your child
There’s a lot that you can teach your child to keep them safe when they’re behind the wheel. Let’s look at some of those tips that you might want to heavily focus on:
- Eliminate distractions: Children nowadays are constantly distracted by their phones and socializing, which can spell disaster when driving a car. Teach your child the risks associated with texting, emailing, eating, grooming, and actively engaging with passengers while driving. Taking their eyes off the road for even a few seconds can cause a significant amount of the road to pass by without them even seeing it, which can spell disaster.
- Avoid drinking and driving: Many teenagers feel invincible. This can cause them to engage in dangerous driving behaviors. Advise your child of the dangers of drunk driving so that they’re aware of the risks involved. This will hopefully deter them from engaging in this potentially catastrophic behavior.
- Encourage rest: Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Therefore, you should encourage your teenager to get plenty of rest and advise them not to take to the road if they’re feeling sleepy.
- Maintain distance: A lot of teenagers wind up involved in rear end collisions that cause serious injuries. These wrecks are often the result of following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them. Your child can avoid this from happening to them by maintaining a proper distance. Ideally, they’d keep three or four seconds between themselves and the vehicle in front of them so that they have time to stop or take evasive maneuvers if the need arises.
- Obey the speed the limit: Speed is another major contributing factor to accidents involving teenagers. Teach your child how to frequently check their speed and ensure they realize the safety risks with driving too fast.
- Identify escape routes: When driving on the highway or the Interstate, it’s best to have an exit strategy when surrounded by multiple vehicles. That way if something goes wrong, you can easily move to safety. This is a skill that takes some work, so you’ll want to practice it with your teenager.
- Practice: Safe driving takes practice. It may not come as naturally to your child as you hope, but you can mold them into the cautious defensive driver you want them to be by consistently practicing with them.
- Wear a seatbelt: This sounds obvious, but wearing a seatbelt is the most important safety factor that can protect your child when they’re involved in an accident. Be sure to remind them of that on a regular basis.
What if your child is hurt in an accident?
If your child is hurt in a car wreck, you’ll want to have a talk with them to understand what went wrong. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you might want to take legal action. If you’d like to learn more about what that would look like, then please consider reading up on the process and what you can do to recover what you and your child are owed.