Your teenager wants to borrow the car. Yet, they are at the most vulnerable age for accidents when they’re behind the wheel. Statistically, people aged between 16 to 19 are three times more likely to die in a crash per mile traveled than someone over 20.
Before you hand over the keys, here are a few things to consider:
Having a driving license does not mean your child is a good driver
Your child may argue that having a license proves they can drive. All it means is they passed the minimum standard once. As a parent, it pays to make your own decision about how capable your child is. Here are some rules you can set to help them stay safe:
- Minimize night-time driving: After dark is the most challenging time to drive due to the reduced visibility. It is also the time of day when teenagers like to go out with their friends.
- Minimize the number of friends in the car: As soon as young people get a license, they want to show off their new ability to their friends. Yet having friends in the car increases distraction.
- Zero alcohol or drugs: Alcohol and drugs can be lethal when driving regardless of age. When combined with an inexperienced driver, the risk increases.
- Everyone wears a seat belt: If your child or their friends protest about wearing belts, show them the statistics. Seat belts save thousands of lives each year.
- No phones: You need to set your child off on a good path. If they start using their phone as a teenager while driving, they will likely continue to do so.
While teen drivers are in a lot of car crashes, not every accident is going to be their fault. They do not have the experience to avert a dangerous situation caused by another driver. If they are in a crash, the other driver’s insurer may try to blame it on your child’s age and inexperience. You will need help to make sure they do not use your child’s age as an excuse to avoid paying what they should in fair compensation for your child’s injuries.