Teens everywhere are learning to drive with more distractions available than ever. Most adults driving now didn’t have to learn to drive while hearing their phone chime with news from their parents or friends. It’s only one distraction among many, but the best thing you can do is to educate your teen about the dangers of behind-the-wheel distractions.
Car accident attorneys in Richmond review cases every day where a teen crashed because they were chatting with a friend, reaching for their phone, or even changing the radio station. Put rules and measures in place to prevent these accidents from happening in your family.
Limit Passengers When You’re Not Around
Passengers are among the top behind-the-wheel distractions as people can carry conversations, speak with their hands, or just generally enjoy each other’s company. Passengers are a cognitive distraction, which means that even though your teen’s eyes are on the road, their mind is elsewhere.
When you know that your teen will have passengers in the car, make sure it’s limited. Too many people or friends in the car can make them feel more inclined to participate in the conversation. Allow one passenger, or one adult passenger and one friend. Explain to them what the role of a passenger is, and what they should expect from the person sitting next to them.
Passengers can play a role in safe driving, as well. They can double-check spots before changing lanes and look further down the road than the driver because they’re not doing things like managing speed or checking mirrors. When your teen first takes off with a passenger, explain what you expect from the other teen as well.
Set Limits on their Phone
Many network providers now allow account managers to set restrictions through the account service. However, when it comes to managing their use only when driving, things get a bit more difficult. AT&T has their “It Can Wait” app, which detects speeds and then disables certain phone functions, including text messaging and accepting calls, unless the phone is connected to a Bluetooth device. Verizon has something similar with “Driving Mode,” and that same driving mode is available through most Android phones on other networks as well.
The network providers have taken serious steps to limit the availability and triggers that urge people to use their phones when driving. Using these apps can make it nearly impossible for a teen to send or check their texts, emails, or social media while behind the wheel.
Create Clear Rules on Driving and Behind-the-Wheel Distractions
Having clear and short rules about the distractions that come with driving can curve some urge that your teen has to participate in them. For example, many parents instill the rule that they require a text message or call with their location before they leave somewhere and when they get to their destination. That reduces the likelihood that you would call them asking where they are and get mad if they don’t answer the phone.
A similar rule includes setting any music apps or playlists before they start driving. When you make time for these distractions before the vehicle starts moving, you can significantly cut down on their chances of being in an accident because of these particular issues. GPS preferences and destinations should also be set before leaving the driveway or parking lot.
Talk About the Reality of Car Crashes Caused by Behind-the-Wheel Distractions
It’s difficult for parents to expose their children to harsh or violent images and details about crashes. But the reality is that these videos or images exist because they happened. There’s no need to show them gore for shock value. But simply the image of a crumpled car or an explanation video on why the jaws-of-life are necessary for some situations can set the tone for the reality of car accidents.
Contact a Virginia Car Accident Attorney
When working with a Richmond, VA accidet injury lawyer, you should expect someone to help you through every step of the process. They can help you understand what you must tell your insurance company and how to avoid their questions that will lure you into saying things that could compromise your compensation. Distracted driving is a huge factor in car accidents in recent years, and it’s only getting worse.
After a car crash, talk to a lawyer about the role distracted driving played and how it’s impacted you. At CAIL, we help the victims of car accidents to fight for the compensation that they need to start putting their lives back together. Contact our law offices now for guidance and a consultation.
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