The majority of teenagers view driving as a fun and liberating activity. While this may be true in part, teens may become so enamored with freedom that they often neglect the responsibilities, as well as overlook the risks, that come with driving on their own. To ensure a teen practices safe driving, it is essential for parents to explain the potential threats in and around the car, as well as how to avoid them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens in the United States. In light of these statistics, it is clear teens need assistance and guidance to become more responsible drivers, particularly in learning how to avoid accidents and stay safe behind the wheel. Consequently, parents who fail to make sure their teens drive responsibly can be considered negligent as well.
Parental Influence on Teen Driving
Identifying good and bad driving maneuvers may facilitate teen driver education and help them to improve their driving abilities. In this way, teenagers who engage in risky driving behaviors can learn from their mistakes and reduce the likelihood of contributing to a car accident. During the early stages of learning, an adult or parental guardian should provide such guidance. Adult supervision is no longer required once teens attain their licenses; however, studies suggest continued adult supervision and instruction, even after a teen obtains their license, can significantly reduce the rates of teen driving accidents.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires parents to sign a consent form before their child may drive if the child is 18 years or younger. Therefore, they are responsible for any accidents caused by their teens. This concept is known as parental liability. Furthermore, parents who lend their vehicles to teenagers may also be liable as vicarious agents. When another person drives a car that causes an accident, the owner is liable by vicarious liability. Additionally, parents may be held liable when their teens are involved in accidents involving alcohol or drugs.
University of Iowa Study Brings Astonishing Results
University of Iowa researchers found adults who monitor their teen drivers’ behavior and engage in conversations about safe driving with their teens could reduce the risk of a crash. Specifically, the study revealed almost 80 percent of driving accidents are prevented when parents talk to their children about how to drive safely.
This study analyzed in-vehicle video monitoring systems that analyzed the vehicle’s speed, the direction it moved, its G-force, and a number of other factors that are relevant to a teen’s driving safety. Parents were immediately notified if their teenager drove faster than they should, braked suddenly, swerved unsafely, or otherwise exceeded a safety threshold.
The study examined 150 families with recently licensed teen drivers over a three-year period. Video surveillance and tracking systems were installed in all vehicles. After that, the parents were divided into three groups. One group was alerted when their teens were driving dangerously, another group did not receive notification, and the last group received notification and provided guidance on how to discuss safe driving with their child.
Compared to the other two groups, the third group (those who received notifications and instructions) saw 80% fewer unsafe driving incidents, and the second group that received only notifications about the problem and was not told how to minimize it saw 65% fewer accidents. The study concluded parents should be more involved in helping teens drive safely.
Experienced Teen Driving Car Accident Attorneys in California
A car accident involving a teenage driver may cause you or a loved one serious injury. The legal team at the Younglove Law Group is here to help and will work diligently to ensure you obtain meaningful compensation. If your teen was in a car accident, you may need help negotiating a settlement to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic damages. In other cases, you may be eligible for compensation if you were struck by a teen driver. An experienced Newport Beach car accident lawyer can take the case to court to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.