It is an exciting time in the life of a teenager when they receive their driver’s permit. After years of only being able to ride as a passenger in a motorized vehicle on the highway, now they actually get to drive… legally. There are several restrictions such as having a licensed driver in the front seat, but they can at least begin learning the rules of the road in real time and gaining the necessary experience to become a safe driver. Many teens already have some level of experience using video game simulations of driving, but there is nothing like really being behind the wheel.
In many instances, parents will be the ones who provide the bulk of pre-test driving lessons, and it’s important that your young adult is adequately prepared. And, it actually starts with your own standard of driving when the teenager is present as a passenger in your car. If you drive poorly, and/or dangerously, you’re setting a poor standard for your own child to follow.
Let’s look at some of the lessons which can be taught to a teenage driver by any adult driver.
Lead By Example
As stated above, the way you drive when your child is present in the vehicle will influence the way in which they drive, when the time comes. Always set a good example and preach the importance of safety first.
Stress Safety First
The first overall lesson for new drivers is the concept that the highway can be a very dangerous place. Defensive driving is a set of operating skills that all safety-conscious drivers will use throughout their life once they receive their driver’s license. Focusing on things like keeping a safe distance behind any frontal vehicle is always a good first policy, but using signals at all times when turning or changing lanes is a must as well. The law of vehicular control is always applied first when accidents are evaluated for causation, and the assignment of fault is often due to a lack of understanding of basic vehicular control.
Observing the Speed Limit
It seems as though teens are always in a hurry wherever they go, but this is not a good personal policy when behind the steering wheel of an automobile. The speed limits are set at specific levels for specific reasons, and all drivers should observe them at all times. This includes driving on the open highway even when the traffic flow is exceeding the posted limit. It is never unlawful to drive below the limit unless a section of the road is marked as such. Maintaining minimum speeds can be very important in some locations along the highway just like staying below maximums. Every car accident attorney will advise to always be conscious of the vehicle rate of speed because speed indeed kills in motor vehicle accidents, and those who were speeding at the time of an accident are usually held accountable.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is also another serious safety issue when driving an automobile. Distractions can come from anywhere even when the driver is not directly creating the distraction. Seemingly minor common practices such as drinking coffee while driving could potentially even be a problem and a distraction. And of course, cell phone use while driving is becoming a serious issue with law enforcement officers due to the state’s focus on texting while driving. Any use of a cell phone should be avoided whenever possible, and pulling over to answer the phone is a good decision in most cases. Few phone calls really justify answering while driving a vehicle. The discussion can wait.
Another primary safety concern with vehicles is maintenance. Teach your teenage some rudimentary car maintenance basics and they will become a better and safer driver. Show them how to check that all windshield wiper fluids are filled adequately and that all turn signals and brake lights are illuminating. Headlights can malfunction as well, and it is not good to drive after dark with only one headlight. Wipers should also be replaced regularly because they are vital when driving in rain, especially heavy rain. Tire tread and inflation levels can also be very important, which is something that many young drivers will not consider when first learning to drive. Many accidents are caused by tire blowouts when they have not been inspected and changed when needed.
Contact Our North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm
Adults should remember that teens who learn good driving habits early tend to become very safe drivers. Always be sure they understand the North Carolina contributory negligence law as well. Teens are often held to a higher standard in accident cases and it is common for law enforcement and even insurance companies to hastily attribute some fault to the teen driver solely based on their age. Anyone who has been injured in an accident in North Carolina should contact our office and let an experienced car accident attorney evaluate your case.
Here are some additional resources that might be helpful as you teach safe driving basics to your young adults:
- 5 Tips for Safer Holiday Driving On North Carolina’s Highways
- Car Accidents – Common Types of Personal Injuries
- Top Five North Carolina Traffic Laws Drivers Ignore
- If I Was Injured in a North Carolina Car Accident as a Passenger, Can I Sue the Driver of the Car?
- Reckless Driving Vs. Distracted Driving in North Carolina
- NC Car Accident Lawyer Explains Cell Phone Use While Driving
- Frequently Asked Questions Arising From Accident Cases
- Proving Fault In Distracted Driving Car Accidents