Current research suggests that parents have a far greater influence on their children’s driving patterns than previously thought. This is both good and important news for parents with teen drivers. Teen drivers are more at risk of accidents largely due to inexperience. When accidents happen, parents could be held legally responsible for any damage or injuries their teens cause. This means that a parent may find him or herself embroiled in a case if a personal injury lawsuit is brought against his or her child for negligent or reckless driving. Car accident lawyers in Boise see far too many cases where simple caution, precaution, and common sense could have prevented injuries, deaths, and the litigation that often follows these tragedies. The good news is that parents can play a large role in their children’s safety behind the wheel.
A study recently published in the journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention found that risky driving behavior among teens was strongly correlated with a parent’s risky driving. This means that if a parent takes risks while behind the wheel, children may also be more likely to take risks. When it comes to reckless or negligent driving the reality may very well be a case of “like father like son.” Additionally, the study found that when parents didn’t monitor their children’s driving and when parents didn’t promote safety, children were more likely to engage in risky behavior while behind the wheel. The study reveals that family culture of safety can have a large influence on whether young drivers grow up to become safe motor vehicle operators.
Given the large role that parents play in teen driving safety, what can parents do to promote a culture of safe driving in the family?
- Model safe driving habits. Follow speed limit laws and put away your cell phone when you drive. If you drive safely, it is more likely that your teen will implement similar behaviors when he or she gets behind the wheel.
- Talk to your kids about driving safety when they are young. Don’t wait until your kids are teens to talk to your children about driving safety. Require seat belt use at an early age and speak to your children about traffic laws as you drive. Children are naturally curious about cars. You can instill safe habits and rules long before kids become teens.
- Require your child to take a driver education course. Don’t pass on driving mistakes you learned to your children! Instead, enroll your child in a qualified driver’s education course. According to the S. Government, driver education courses can ensure that young drivers understand the laws of the road and use proper defensive driving methods.
- Restrict number of passengers. Teen drivers who transport passengers are more at risk of accidents. Limit the number of friends your teen can carry in the car.
Teaching your teen to drive can be very stressful for parents. Yet, parents don’t have to be alone in the process. Enrolling your child in a driving education course and creating a family culture of safety around vehicle use can help prevent many accidents from taking place.
However, if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, a personal injury lawyer in Boise, or Nampa Idaho may be able to assist you. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen offers free consultations. Contact us today to learn more.