We’ve all been new at something before. It’s extremely rare that anyone is immediately good at something when they first try it, including driving. The pressures of operating a car safely while traveling down the roads and following all of the traffic signs and signals can be overwhelming to a young teenage driver, who is already likely nervous that they’re behind the wheel in the first place. This is perfectly normal, however nerves can lead to mistakes, and unfortunately a mistake behind the wheel could lead to a serious accident and injuries. So before you give the cars keys to your teen, make sure they know about these common driving mistakes and take efforts to avoid them.
Teenagers have sharp reaction times and a sense of fearlessness and invulnerability while behind the wheel. This new-found confidence that comes with finding confidence in driving often leads to teens speeding down the road. Not only does this waste a lot of gas, but it’s one of the leading causes of car accidents with young drivers. High-speed accidents are far more likely to result in a dangerous crash, resulting in potential injuries. Be sure your teen knows that the speed limit isn’t a guideline—it should be adhered to at all times.
Your teenager likely has a cell phone to talk with their friends and so you can reach them when you need to. Cell phones have made communication easy, however they’re also a major threat behind the wheel for all drivers, including teenagers. Make sure your teen knows that when they get behind the wheel, the cell phone should not leave their pocket or go into their hand at any time. Not only can it potentially cause a devastating accident, it could also earn them a costly ticket if they’re under the age of 18 and spotted by law enforcement.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt
You’ve probably heard the moniker “Click It or Ticket,” made popular by a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration public awareness campaign. This is designed to reinforce the notion that not wearing your seatbelt while driving is against the law and could land you a costly fine if you’re pulled over. However, the risk to your well-being could outweigh the financial burden of a ticket when it comes to potential consequences of not buckling up: seatbelts have been proven to save lives and prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. Know and enforce the rules whenever you get in the car for all passengers: seatbelts on and they do not come off for the duration of the trip.
Despite all of the youthful energy and exuberance, teenagers often don’t get enough sleep for their physical needs. Between sore and tired muscles from intense athletic practices, fatigue from all-night study sessions for that big exam, or working until the wee hours of the morning on their latest big project, teenagers have numerous reasons to be tired, and many times they’ll attempt to drive this way. Drowsy driving is a huge problem for all drivers, as studies have shown fatigue to have similar symptoms to drunk driving, only the risk of an accident is about six times higher. Make sure your teenager knows that it’s perfectly okay to stop and rest for a little bit if they don’t feel comfortable enough to drive.
How far behind the car in front of you should you be? For most typical teenagers, the answer they think is rarely far enough. Tailgating is the term for following someone too close to their rear end, resulting in a severely reduced amount of time to react in the event the car in front must swerve to avoid an obstacle or slams on their brakes to avoid a potential accident of their own. Because reaction time is reduced, this significantly increases the chances of a rear-end accident, which frequently causes whiplash, back problems, and other serious injuries.
If you have been injured in a car accident, Pratt Clay, LLC may be able to help! Our Atlanta car accident attorneys are not afraid to stand up for your rights. We are familiar with the tactics insurance companies may use to save their own bottom line at your expense, and we never settle until we’ve received the best possible compensation for your injures. To date, our experienced team has recovered more than $70 million on behalf of our clients, and we can put that same tried and tested strategy and philosophy to work after you have been hurt in a car accident.