Critical Steps for Reducing Teen Driver Crash Risks in Sacramento

female teen driver in car with mom on a sunny day in CaliforniaAs a parent in the Sacramento area, the safety of your teen driver is a top priority. Teen driver crashes are a significant concern, especially given their lack of experience behind the wheel. However, there are critical steps you can take to help reduce the risk of a crash and ensure your teen’s safety on the road.

In this blog, Arnold Law Firm explores some vital strategies and tips that can make a real difference in helping you safeguard your teen driver in Sacramento.

If you or your teen suffer injuries in a crash, we are here to help. Sometimes liable insurance companies may try to blame teens for a traffic accident even if someone else is responsible, or at least partially responsible.

Call to discuss your situation today. Our knowledgeable vehicle collision lawyers in Sacramento have extensive experience, and we are prepared to help you seek full and fair compensation.

Learn about your legal options today. Call: (916) 777-7777 24/7.

How Can Parents Help To Reduce the Crash Risk of Their Teen Drivers?

Your teen may not think you are as cool as you were a few years ago, but your opinions, values and examples still carry a lot of weight. In fact, your teen probably absorbed a lot about safe driving from you. Children, in general, learn a lot more from us by what they see than by what we tell them. For example, if we always buckle up when driving, they are likely to do the same as drivers.

Beyond modeling the kind of driving example you want your teens to follow, there are other steps parents can take to influence their teen’s behavior behind the wheel.

Get Your Teen Driver Off to a Good Start

Begin with a solid foundation of education by enrolling your teen in a reputable driver’s education program. While this is not nearly enough to give them all the driving skills they need, these programs can build a solid foundation.

Register Your Teen for Graduated Licensing

Sacramento, like many places, has a graduated licensing system. Have your teen research the requirements and what they need to apply. While it is a good idea to discuss the process with them, getting them involved in the process will help them to have more ownership in seeking their license.

Be sure to talk with your teen to be sure they know and understand what restrictions are placed on their license during the provisional phase. Discuss potential consequences for breaking these restrictions and encourage them to follow these rules. Graduated licensing is designed to protect young drivers by gradually exposing them to more complex driving situations.

Education and Practice Are the Keys to Building Skills and Confidence

Most driving programs cover essential topics like traffic laws and defensive driving techniques. They also cover behaviors that can increase the risk of a crash, such as the dangers of driving while distracted or impaired. These programs are just laying a foundation, but they help to build good driving habits from the start.

In Sacramento, there are many excellent driving schools that offer comprehensive programs designed to prepare teens for the challenges of the road.

What Steps Can Parents Take After Teens Get a Provisional License?

No two teens are alike, and some are more mature and responsible than others. Even responsible teens can benefit from having rules and expectations set during the first six months to one year of driving.

Discuss the Legal Duty of Care Your Teen Owes as a Driver

Teens are primarily thinking about the newfound freedom and independence driving can bring them, which is great. However, as adults we already know that freedom comes with responsibility. As parents it is vital we help our teens understand that they owe a legal duty to others every time they get behind the wheel, including:

  • Drivers of other vehicles
  • Passengers in their vehicles and other vehicles
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Motorcycle riders
  • And more

Setting Clear Rules

No one likes rules, especially teens, but establishing a set of clear rules for your teen driver can help them understand the expectations you have and keep safer on the road. These rules might include curfews, passenger restrictions, and guidelines on responsible behavior. As we know, these rules only work when we consistently enforce them and have pre-discussed consequences for any violations.

Regular Maintenance Checks

As adult drivers, we know that maintaining a vehicle in good working condition is crucial for safety. We also understand that failing to maintain our vehicles can make us liable if our brakes, tires or other auto parts fail and contribute to a crash.

Getting teens involved with understanding and scheduling the importance of regular maintenance checks will further protect them by reducing the risk of something going wrong with their cars. Reinforce that it is their responsibility to ensure their vehicle is in good repair, which includes properly functioning brakes, lights, tires and more. Additionally, emphasize the significance of regular oil changes and other routine vehicle maintenance.

Explain to Your Teen Why and How To Track Local Traffic Conditions

Sacramento has unique traffic conditions, including congested freeways and often heavy traffic during rush hours. Make sure your teen driver is aware of the local traffic patterns and challenges. Teach them to navigate these conditions safely. Talk about unexpected detours that could happen, such as in road construction zones, and how to handle those situations.

Discuss What it Means To Stay Informed

Help your teen stay informed about current and changing laws, regulations, and trends related to teen driving in Sacramento. Being up-to-date on the latest information can help you adapt your approach to keep your teen driver safe.

Talk About Behaviors That Could Increase the Risk of a Crash

Learning to drive and understanding all the responsibilities that come with it takes time. However, these are things they can learn more about while they improve their driving skills.

Set Up Expectations and Rules to Limit Distractions

Distracted driving is a leading cause of teen car crashes. Sacramento, like many other areas, has strict laws against using a cellphone while driving. To help your teen avoid a dangerous distracted driving crash, it is a good idea to discuss the different types of distracted driving behaviors, such as:

  • Texting and driving
  • Doing hair or makeup
  • Eating and/or drinking
  • Taking videos, selfies or photos
  • Getting into conversations with passengers
  • Having teen passengers in the car with them
  • Getting rowdy by joking around or singing in the car
  • Having arguments on their phones or with passengers
  • Fiddling around with GPS, music and other technology
  • Reaching for something off the car seat or floor
  • And more

Most importantly, make sure your teen understands the potential consequences if they choose to engage in distracted driving behaviors.

Discuss the Dangers of Impaired Driving

In Sacramento, as elsewhere, impaired driving is a significant concern. Make sure your teen understands the dangers of alcohol and drug use while driving. Reinforce the importance of never getting behind the wheel while under the influence and having a plan for a safe ride home.

Encourage Responsibility

Teach your teen driver about personal responsibility. In addition to taking care of their vehicle and respecting traffic laws, talk to them about the potential consequences of reckless behavior. Responsible teens are less likely to take unnecessary risks. However, less responsible friends could pressure your teen into doing things they might not normally do, such as speeding or getting rowdy in the car, blasting loud music, drinking and driving, running red lights and more.

Teen driver safety is a significant concern in Sacramento, California, as it is across the country. By following these critical steps, you can help reduce the risk of teen driver crashes and ensure your teenager’s safety on the road.

It is an ongoing process, but by taking these steps, you can play a vital role in shaping a responsible and safe teen driver.

Need Legal Help After a Crash? Arnold Law is Here to Help

After being involved in a crash, it can be overwhelming to know what to do next. Your first priority should always be your health, but once your injuries are stabilized, you should consider seeking legal help.

At Arnold Law Firm, we have been helping the injured in Sacramento for decades, and we have a proven history of success.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. Fighting for you. (916) 777-7777