Navigating The Road To Success: How To Prevent Learner Driver Accidents
Learning to drive can be challenging. Even without the distractions of teen passengers or a cell phone, younger drivers still represent one of the demographics most likely to be in car accidents. In fact, the number of teens involved in fatal car crashes increased by 14.8 percent from 2020 to 2021, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. If you have been injured in an accident with a teen driver, or if your own teen has been involved in a collision, consider contacting an experienced California car accident attorneys at Heiting & Irwin, APLC, recognized by Forbes Advisor as one of the Top Personal Injury Attorneys in California. Call (951) 682-6400 to schedule a consultation.
What Would You Say Is the Most Important Safety Rule When Learning How To Drive or Being a New Driver?
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA) offers the following critical pieces of advice for teen drivers to prevent learner-driver accidents:
- Avoid distractions. A teenager’s inexperience behind the wheel may make the teen more susceptible to distractions.
- Do not text and drive. According to the NHSTA, at least one in three teens has admitted to using a cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is one of the leading causes of car crashes.
- Buckle up. Many teens do not wear seat belts. Failure to fasten a seat belt, whether as driver or passenger, has been demonstrated to be the single biggest difference in the degree of injury someone suffers in a car accident. Seat belts do save lives.
- Follow the speed limit. Teenagers may be more inclined to speed behind the wheel or misjudge how fast they are going.
What Are Three Ways To Reduce Risk While Driving?
The NHSTA offers several actionable tips for parents to help them talk to their teens about safety on the road, including:
- Talk to your teen about alcohol and drug use. Drinking and driving is illegal. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the threshold for legal intoxication for drivers under 21 is much lower than that for those over 21, a mere 0.01 percent compared to the legal limit of 0.08 percent for older drivers.
- Be a good role model. Wear your own seat belt, follow the traffic laws, obey the speed limit, and stay off your phone while you are behind the wheel.
- Drive with your teenager. Do not rely solely on a driver’s education course to teach your teen how to drive. Ride in the car with your teen and become familiar with his or her driving habits so you will be better able to judge when your child is ready to drive solo.
What Are Two Preventative Trainings That Address Driving Risks?
The California Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program is intended to reduce the number of learner driver accidents. Under this program, new teen drivers gradually progress from a learner’s permit to a license with limited privileges before receiving a traditional driver’s license. Enroll your teen in this program and closely supervise their driving skills as they progress through the training. The program also includes mandatory driver training hours and stipulates whom the teen driver may have as a passenger.
A defensive driving class is a second preventative training in which teen drivers may be enrolled. This optional training class is offered for drivers of all experience levels. In these courses, drivers learn how to identify potential threats on the roads and take evasive maneuvers to prevent a crash.
How Can We Prevent Reckless Driving?
Unfortunately, preventing teens from making irresponsible decisions may be nearly impossible. This limitation extends to those decisions made behind the wheel. Parents and adults, however, can create a no-tolerance rule for their teens and supervise them closely while on the road.
If your car does not have a dash cam, you may wish to install one and review the footage of your teen’s driving habits. This can help with identifying potential problems with a teen’s driving. A dash cam can also help if the teenager is involved in a car crash. The recording from the camera may show the other driver to be at fault. An accident attorney from Heiting & Irwin, APLC, may be able to help use the camera footage to protect your teen.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident With a Teen Driver? Or, Are You a Teen Driver Injured In An Accident Caused by Another?
After a car accident, the victim may need to make a claim/file suit to repair or replace a vehicle, cover the costs of medical care, compensate for wages lost during time missed at work, compensate for lost time for school or education/training. Whether you are a teen injured by another — or you have been injured by a teen driver — A car accident lawyer can help the injured party seek compensation. Individuals in California who have been injured in motor vehicle or auto accidents should contact the Riverside car accident attorneys at Heiting & Irwin, APLC, today by calling (951) 682-6400 for a free case review. You can also visit them online at www.hilegalgroup.com