5 Common Driving Mistakes Made by Teens & Novice Drivers
Although the demands of daily life may cause us to view driving as a simple part of life, operating a motor vehicle safely is not always an easy task. This is especially true for teens and novice drivers who lack the experience, understanding, and familiarity with traffic situations needed to make sound driving decisions. Although driving a car responsibly requires effort and experience, it is important to remember that driving safely is a legal duty all motorists must uphold.
At Schneider Hammers, our Atlanta car accident lawyers have helped numerous victims and families following preventable auto accidents of all types. Throughout the years, we have seen how teens and new drivers can make seemingly small mistakes or decisions that big consequences. These are not new concepts, as it is well known that car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens and young adults.
To help teens, new drivers, and parents ensure safety is a priority when on the open road, we have put together a list of common novice driver mistakes and how they can be avoided:
- Using a Cell Phone – Teens and cell phones may go hand in hand, but they should never be used when behind the wheel. Text messaging and cell phone use play a role in causing thousands of preventable injuries and deaths each year, and although anyone can be guilty of using a phone while driving, teens are often more inclined to do so. If you have a teen or novice driver, make sure they understand the consequences of sending a text or using a phone while driving; consequences that can change their lives and the lives of others in profound ways. You should also remind them that texting while driving is illegal for all drivers in Georgia, and that cell phone use is also prohibited for drivers under the age of 18. Remind your teen driver that It Can Wait, or explore options such as smart phone applications that prevent teens from using a phone when it detects a vehicle is in motion.
- Distractions – Texting and cell phone use while driving may cause numerous injuries and fatalities across the country every year, but they are not the only form of dangerous distractions. Talking to passengers, eating food or drinking, adjusting music, and personal grooming are all examples of distractions that can cause a driver to fail in their legal duty of taking reasonable actions to be safe. This is because distractions may demand a driver’s attention manually, physically, and / or mentally, and significantly increase crash risks. Your child should understand the risks of taking their attention away from the road, no matter how it may occur.
- Inattention – Even if a driver is not distracted, the act of driving should always be a priority when behind the wheel. Inattention, which can happen as a result of day-dreaming or simply not being aware of one’s surroundings, can have devastating results. Make sure your teen understands that vigilance is key to their safety and the safety of others, especially when approaching intersections, making turns, changing lanes, entering traffic, and prior to making any driving move.
- Impairment – Teens may not be of legal drinking age, but that does not stop many of them from partaking in alcohol or drugs. Drugged and drunk driving are among the leading causes of preventable accidents, and they can alter lives of victims and drivers forever. Remind your child that drinking and driving should simply never happen, and explain that there are real criminal consequences for those actions. You can also speak with them about choosing safer alternatives if they ever find themselves in a position where they may choose driving after using alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications and marijuana. These alternatives can include sober rides, taxis or rideshare apps like Uber, or even a call to mom and dad if that means the difference between a safe ride and a highly risky decision.
- Speeding – New drivers may not be fully experienced in controlling or gauging the speed of their vehicles. They may also be more inclined to risky behaviors like driving fast. Speeding is not only grounds for a traffic violation, but also one of the top causes of preventable wrecks. Ensure your teen driver knows that speed limits exist for a reason, to protect public safety, and that they should also be aware of driving at safe speeds when there is poor weather, unsafe road conditions, traffic congestion, or a school or construction zone.
Even when a teen or novice motorist does everything to drive responsibly and reduce crash risks, wrecks can still occur when others are negligent or careless. When a preventable car accident injures your child, you can work with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Schneider Hammers to navigate the legal channels needed to protect your right to compensation for your damages, which can include costs for medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering, among others.
Our legal team understands the important role we play in helping victims and families during difficult times, and we have used our decades of collective experience and passion for making a difference to recover millions of dollars in compensation for the injured and the wronged. You can be confident that when you place your trust in our award-winning lawyers, you will have the support of proven and passionate advocates.
If you wish to discuss a car accident case involving you or your teen driver, and learn more about your rights and what Schneider Hammers can do to help, contact our firm today for a FREE consultation.