As the parent of a teenager who is starting to drive, it’s crucial to prepare them for the challenges of the road and ensure their safety. Nashville, TN and the surrounding cities are bustling with heavy traffic, making driving particularly challenging for new drivers. Parents play a vital role in helping their teens become responsible and safe drivers. Here are some essential tips for parents of teenage drivers in Nashville, TN, from Stillman & Friedland, Middle Tennessee Car, Truck, & Motorcycle Accident Attorneys.
Set Clear Expectations
Before your teenager gets behind the wheel, setting clear expectations is essential. This includes establishing rules for when and where they can drive, who they can have in the car, and how long they can go for. It’s also important to clarify that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that you expect them to behave responsibly while on the road. Make sure to discuss the consequences if they do not follow the established rules, such as losing their driving privileges for a specific period.
Lead by Example
Your teenager is watching you, even when you don’t realize it. That’s why leading by example regarding safe driving habits is important. Always wear your seatbelt, obey traffic laws, and never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You’re setting a positive example for your teenager by modeling safe driving behaviors.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The more practice your teenager gets behind the wheel, the better driver they will become. It’s important to provide them with as much practice as possible, especially in various driving conditions. Start by taking them out on quiet roads with few obstacles and gradually work your way up to more complex roadways. Make sure to allow them to practice different maneuvers, such as turning, parking, merging, and braking. Additionally, consider practicing driving with your teenager during nighttime hours, as it presents a different set of challenges for new drivers.
Having your teenager practice driving in different weather conditions, such as rain or snow, is a good idea, as this will prepare them for unexpected situations. Remember to always be patient and supportive during practice sessions, and don’t be afraid to provide constructive feedback to help them improve their skills. Your teenager will gain confidence and become a safer, more responsible driver by practicing regularly.
Enroll Them in a Driver’s Education Program
Enrolling your teenager in a driver’s education program is an excellent way to supplement their learning experience and improve their driving skills. These programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers everything from basic driving rules and techniques to more advanced topics like defensive driving strategies.
In a driver’s education program, your teenager will learn about the different types of roads and highways, traffic laws and regulations, and how to navigate various driving scenarios. They will also be taught about the importance of vehicle maintenance, including performing routine safety checks and basic repairs.
Talk About the Dangers of Distracted Driving
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, a crash involving a distracted driver occurs every 25 minutes in Tennessee. Distracted driving is a severe problem that affects drivers of all ages, but it is particularly dangerous for teenagers who lack experience behind the wheel. As a parent, having a frank conversation with your teenager about the risks of distracted driving is essential.
One of the most common forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. Texting takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off driving. Eating while driving is another form of distracted driving that can be dangerous. Even if it’s hands-free, using a cell phone while driving can also be distracting. Having an open and honest conversation about the dangers of distracted driving can help your teenager become a safer and more responsible driver.
Additionally, take a look at this blog post where we write in more detail about distracted driving: “Distracted Driving is More Than Being on Your Phone”. Sharing such resources with your teenager can help them better understand the risks associated with various forms of distractions and the importance of staying focused on the road.
We hope these tips for parents of teenage drivers in Nashville, TN were helpful to you! At Stillman & Friedland, we understand that accidents can happen, even to the safest and most responsible drivers. If you, your teenager, or anyone in your family has been involved in a car accident, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Middle Tennessee Car, Truck, & Motorcycle Accident Attorneys.
Contact our Nashville office at 615-244-2111 for a complimentary, confidential consultation, chat with us, or fill out a form. We will assess your case at no expense to you. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay if we secure a settlement or jury award for you.
Stay safe out there.
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