Teenagers have a higher risk of fatal crashes, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This increased risk is primarily attributed to their inexperience, underdeveloped driving skills, and occasional lapses in judgment. Teens are more susceptible to speeding and distractions, particularly when friends are in the car. However, with the right training and practice, teenagers can become attentive and responsible drivers. It all starts at home.

teen driving with her mom

Understanding Teen Driving Laws

To better prepare your teenager for the road, it’s essential to understand the laws governing teen drivers. Alongside grasping the general rules of the road, parents and teens need to be well-versed in regulations specifically tailored to new drivers. In Washington state, these restrictions aim to reduce high-risk driving scenarios and allow teenagers to refine their skills and adopt safe driving habits. Key provisions include:

  • Passenger Restrictions: There are limitations on carrying passengers for the first six months after obtaining a license.
  • Nighttime Driving Prohibitions: Teens are not allowed to drive late at night during the initial stages of their driving journey.

As a parent, the better you understand these regulations, the more effectively you can ensure your teenager complies with them.

Setting a Good Example

Being a positive role model is crucial for instilling safe driving habits in teenagers. Regularly taking your teen for driving practice is essential. Additionally, you can lead by example by demonstrating responsible driving habits:

  • Talk Through Situations: Engage in conversations about various driving scenarios and road hazards while driving together.
  • Watch and Learn: Even when you’re in the passenger seat, your teen can learn a lot from your actions and commentary.

Formal driving courses are valuable, but they are only one part of a teenager’s driving education. Parents or guardians play a vital role in ensuring their children are well-prepared to shoulder the responsibilities that come with a driver’s license.

Adequate Insurance Coverage

Having a teenage driver at home increases your insurance risk. If your child is under 18 and is at fault for causing an accident, you, as a parent, bear both legal and financial responsibility for any injuries caused. To safeguard yourself, it’s crucial to have the right type and amount of insurance coverage. Consult with your insurance agent about policy options and consider adding an umbrella policy to bolster your auto insurance coverage.

7 Things to Tell Your Teenager to Do If They Get Into An Auto Accident

teen getting yelled at by adults in front of a car accident

No one wants to contemplate the possibility of their teenager being involved in an accident, but being prepared for such situations is essential. Here’s a brief guide on what to do in case of an accident:

  1. Stay Calm: If your teenager calls to report an accident, remain calm and reassuring. It’s crucial to keep the lines of communication open.
  2. Ensure Safety: Advise your teenager to prioritize safety. If it’s safe to do so, they should move their vehicle out of traffic and turn on hazard lights. If there are injuries, they should immediately call 911.
  3. Gather Information: Instruct your teen to collect necessary information from the other parties involved, including names, contact details, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
  4. Document the Scene: Encourage your teenager to take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any relevant road conditions. These visuals can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  5. Contact Authorities: If your teen hasn’t already done so, advise them to contact the police to report the accident and request an official report. This report can be valuable when dealing with insurance claims.
  6. Notify Your Insurance Company: As soon as possible, get in touch with your insurance provider and report the accident. They will guide you through the claim process and explain the necessary steps.
  7. Legal Consultation: In more complex situations, it may be advisable to seek legal advice. Contact the Law Offices of Michael Clark at 253.499.7844 for a free consultation if you require legal guidance after the accident.

Legal Guidance

In the unfortunate event of a car accident involving a teenage driver, it’s important to understand your legal options. Here is more information on what legal steps to take if you have been in a car accident.

For a free consultation and expert legal advice, contact the Law Offices of Michael Clark at 253.573.1000

By following these recommendations and providing guidance and support, parents can play a significant role in helping their teenagers become responsible and safe drivers.