Our David W. Martin Accident and Injury Lawyers in South Carolina know, according to the state’s Traffic Collision Fact Book, one teen driver — defined as drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 — is involved in a fatal or injury collision every 1.6 hours throughout the Palmetto State.
Sadly, new teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults.
Many of these teen driver crashes, injuries, and fatalities can be prevented by giving these young drivers the resources and skills they need to make informed decisions behind the wheel.
Teen Drivers Need More Than a Driver’s License to Operate a Vehicle Safely
Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys know that dangers are everywhere on our roadways. While it is impossible to control the actions of other drivers, it is possible to instill in young new drivers the safest ways to navigate crowded roads to help avoid accidents.
It is important to remember that just because they pass their driving exam does not mean their driving skills will be perfect immediately.
Teen Driver Source reported that 75% of serious teen driver crashes are due to “critical errors,” which include:
- Going too fast for road conditions.
- Lack of scanning to detect and respond to hazards.
- Being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle.
Parents must talk to their teens about safe driving habits so they and other motorists can make it home safely at the end of each day.
South Carolina Parents Must Insist on Safe Driving Behaviors and Establish Driving Rules
Getting a driver’s license is a life-changing experience for a young person. Unfortunately, it comes with independence and responsibility that not all young drivers take seriously.
It is impossible to know how well your teenage driver handles pressures behind the wheel unless you witness their behavior. This is why parents need to ensure their teenagers are exhibiting safe driving skills before they allow them to get behind the wheel without adult supervision.
When they are ready to get behind the wheel alone:
- Insist on safe driving habits.
- Establish driving rules.
- Enforce the consequences when safe driving and the rules are compromised.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends that parents never rely solely on driver’s education classes to teach their teens to drive.
Parents can also help young drivers by:
- Monitoring their teenager’s driving habits.
Apps and plug-in devices that will report speeding, hard braking, or swerving maneuvers are available at app stores, electronic stores, and through insurance companies. Once the data is recorded, it can be used to have constructive conversations about safe driving habits.
- Forbidding passengers to be in the vehicle while they adjust to driving.
According to a study analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the likelihood of teen drivers engaging in one or more risky behaviors when traveling with multiple passengers increased to three times compared to when driving alone. Disallowing passengers is a good start until your young driver understands the responsibilities of driving.
- Talking to your kids about the inherent dangers of driving.
It is essential to explain to teenage drivers that focusing on the road, following the rules, and driving defensively are the priority when they are behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle. Everything — literally everything — else can wait.
- Leading by example.
If you are using your cellphone behind the wheel of your vehicle, your kids will, too. Be sure to set a good example by following all the road rules, including avoiding cellphone use while driving.
Most parents opt to add their teenage drivers to their auto insurance policies so they can get on the road without absorbing the increased rates of being a teenage driver responsible for their policy. This means the parents’ insurance will be pursued — and their rates will certainly go up — if their teen is liable for a crash in South Carolina. This alone can help parents teach their kids about the tremendous physical, emotional, and financial responsibility of driving.
Contact Our David W. Martin Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in a vehicle collision caused by a negligent driver in South Carolina, contact our David W. Martin Accident & Injury Lawyers today by calling 803-548-2468 to learn more about your legal rights and options to hold the negligent party liable for your complete recovery needs.
We provide free consultations for all personal injury cases in South Carolina and never charge any legal fees unless we deliver a positive outcome for your unique case.