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Teenagers, Taking Risks, and Driving: A Parents Guide

For many parents, seeing their teen start driving is a time of mixed emotions. On one hand, this is a moment that gives both you and your teen freedom. They have the freedom to do and go wherever they want. It also means that you no longer have to be their own personal taxi service.

On the other hand, there may be many negative feelings such as:

  • Anxiety

  • Sadness

  • Worry

  • Loneliness

Seeing your “baby” all grown up is something that many parents have a hard time accepting. The thought of your teen out on the road by themselves may cause your thoughts to wander.

"What if they drive dangerously? I won’t be there to protect them.

Will they try to race their friends?"

While you can’t always be there for your teen to protect them, there are things you can do to prepare them for driving on their own.

Risk-Taking is in Teen’s Nature

Taking risks is in many teen’s nature. Teenage years are the years of one’s life where they experiment with many ventures, friends, and hobbies. While not all teens will be out on the road drag racing against their friends at 2 AM, this scenario is far from the ordinary.

Some of the most common risks teens run into include:

  • Doing dangerous things to impress their friends

  • Driving under the influence

  • Texting and driving

  • Speeding

It is important for you to have a discussion with your teen to set ground rules before letting them out on the road alone. The more you explain the importance of road safety, the better your chances are of having your teen stay safe out on the road.

Higher Insurance Premiums

Because of the risk-taking behavior that is seen in many teens, insurance companies have begun to view teens as potential problems in the future, instead of young drivers. This means that because there are so many teen accidents, insurance companies see teen drivers as a liability that they will have to pay for later down the road. This means they have to charge more upfront to cover the “unavoidable future.”

Not only are young drivers seen as loose cannons, but they are also seen as inexperienced, which is another liability for insurance companies. Their actions also have much fewer consequences than adults, due to the fact that they don’t have children, a wife, a house, or very many assets (if any) to their name.

Safety Tips

Informing your teen of the rules of the road, and tips you personally use while driving is the best way to ensure they are as safe as possible. In addition to the tips you may have, there are some additional practices to help your teen stay as safe as possible on the road:

  • Always buckle up

  • Stay off of your cell phone

  • Don’t speed

  • Check your blind spots whenever you switch lanes

  • NEVER drive under the influence

  • If you’re out late, sleep before driving - tired driving is just as bad as driving under the influence

  • If your headlights are not automatic, be sure to always turn them on when the conditions call for them

How GKBM Can Help

While we can’t completely prevent an accident from happening, we can absolutely fix what happens next. At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, our hard-working team of Memphis personal injury attorneys has years of experience helping our clients get their life back to what it was before an accident happened.

If your teen was injured in an accident, we would love to speak with you over a free consultation to see how we can help.

Call us today at (901) 466-2006 to learn what GKBM can do for you.

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