Like most Kentucky parents, you rejoice each time your teenage son or daughter accomplishes a life goal or experiences a milestone event, such as obtaining a valid driver’s license. You eagerly anticipated the first time you gave permission for him or her to drive on the Dixie Highway to a sporting event, perhaps at Holy Cross, Valley Station, Pleasure Ridge Park or some other local high school in the area.
As you watched your child walk out the front door with keys in hand, you felt a mix of pride and worry. It’s understandable since inexperience and youth can be a deadly combination behind the wheel of a car. By discussing safety at length and providing contact information to seek immediate support if a problem arises, you can help further your child’s independence.
Practical safety tips for teenage drivers
Every family has its own set of rules regarding curfews, home and school life and outside activities. The following list provides general safety tips that may help keep the newest driver in your family as safe as possible:
- Driving alone is best: It’s fun to travel with friends, but it’s far safer for newer drivers to travel alone. If passengers are a must, it’s typically best to set strict number limits. The more passengers in a car, the higher the accident risk.
- Set a proper example: If your teenager witnesses you continually driving over posted speed limits, he or she is likely to do the same. Parents who set good examples of safe driving inspire their children to develop similar good habits.
- No texting, no cell phones, no radios: Many states now have laws prohibiting handheld electronic device use while driving. Until your child gains more road experience, it’s probably best to advise him or her to abstain from listening to music while driving as well. Adjusting radio knobs is a major driving distraction that often leads to fatal collisions.
- Practice of night driving: Driving in the dark is an entirely different ballgame from daytime driving. You can help your child stay safe if you provide ample opportunities to practice night driving as well as driving in inclement weather.
- Always have alternate options available: Set a plan ahead of time for whom your child should call or what to do if he or she feels unsafe at any time while driving. Teenagers often panic or don’t quite know how to respond if they feel afraid.
Just as you likely have a fire escape plan at home, discuss this issue with your teenager and have several options available at all times. It’s better to pull off the road and call home for a ride than keep driving in unsafe conditions. No matter how safe your teenager is, there’s no doubt that Dixie Highway is a dangerous place where another motorist’s negligence can cause a collision when least expected.
No parent wants to witness his or her child suffering. However, if another person’s negligence was the cause of a child’s injury, it’s only natural that a parent would want to seek justice on his or her behalf. Many Kentucky parents have done just that by allowing experienced personal injury attorneys seek legal accountability against negligent drivers.