Teaching a Teen Driver in Missouri
Teaching responsibility to a child comes long before they begin driving at 16 years old. Being a solid role model is one of the most important things you can do for a child. This means always wearing your seat belt, never texting while driving, and never doing any other distracting activities while driving. Children are watching everything we do and listening to everything we say. It’s important for our actions to match our words because kids are going to model their behavior after us.
It’s important to discuss safety with your child leading up to the time they begin driving. The topic of auto insurance is a great place to start. Explain to them what it is, why it’s necessary, and how their driving affects their insurance rate. Spend some time with your child going through the process of getting insurance quotes. This process will help them appreciate the seriousness of becoming a licensed driver. Use some facts to help explain why their rates are likely higher than yours.
Facts about Teenage Drivers
Each year thousands of new teen drivers hit Missouri’s roads and highways. Here are some facts about teen drivers to keep in mind:
- Statistically, a teen driver’s first thousand driving hours are the most dangerous
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers annually
- Teen drivers are found to be speeding in about a third of all fatal teen car crashes
- The accident rate for teen drivers doubles when the number of passengers in a car driven by a teen increases from two to three
- Teens are statistically more likely than any other age group to be involved in a single-car accident
Common Teen Driving Mistakes
Due to their lack of experience behind the wheel, Missouri teen drivers commonly make mistakes that adult drivers do not. These may include:
- Distracted driving (such as texting or paying attention to vehicle passengers)
- Aggressive driving
- Swerving/over-correcting in traffic or bad weather
- Not yielding at intersections
- Not adjusting speed or driving style to fit weather conditions
- Tailgating/following too closely to other cars
- Not understanding intentions of other drivers
Set Important Driving Rules and Consequences for Teen Drivers
It’s important to set rules and consequences for teen drivers to help keep them safe. Consider using the following with your Missouri teen driver:
- Always wear a seatbelt at all times (and make passengers wear a seat belt)
- Don’t text or use a cell phone while driving
- Never drive over the speed limit
- Never drive recklessly or aggressively
- Never drink alcohol or do drugs before driving
- Never ride with anyone who has drunk alcohol or done drugs before driving
Rules that are Unique to You and Your Teen Driver
- Teen driving hours: Outline a specific time your teen driver is allowed to use the car. Make sure to familiarize yourself with local laws that apply to teen drivers.
- Passenger limit: Statistics show teen drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident when distractions increase. More passengers in a car can easily distract a teen driver.
- Violations and tickets: Setting consequences for getting tickets can help a teen driver be safer behind the wheel. Be sure to decide who is going to pay for any tickets your teen driver receives.
- Vehicle responsibility: Be sure to go over vehicle maintenance with a teen driver. Teens need to know signs of their vehicle needing maintenance. They’ll also need to know how to change a tire.
- Practice (a lot): The only way to become a better driver is to spend time behind the wheel. Provide your teen driver with as much driving time as you can. Find an empty parking lot to let them start.
- Maturity level behind the wheel: Never forget that driving isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. If you feel your teen driver isn’t ready to handle the responsibility of driving, it’s okay to delay them from getting a license. A few months, or even a year, can make a big difference in your teen driver’s maturity level.
- Choose a safe, reliable car for your teen driver: The car your teen driver uses can make a big difference in terms of safety. Some cars are better known for handling the road or impacts from crashes. Research your teen’s car choice.
Explain to Teen Drivers What to Do If They are in a Missouri or Illinois Vehicle Accident
Most people don’t know what to do after a crash, especially young drivers. Tell them to call the police right away and then call you if they are medically able. This site is filled with information and free downloadable accident guides you can use to teach your teen driver. Download our FREE guides to read with your teen driver and to keep in the glove box of your vehicles.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a crash, call the St. Louis car accident lawyers at Page Law today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. You can also reach Page Law at 1-800-CAR-CRASH (800-227-2727) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.