Car accidents are the number 1 killer of teenagers in South Carolina. That's a scary statistic if your teenager is learning to drive. However, driving is a way of life in most cities and it would be hard to keep your teen from ever getting behind the wheel. So, the key is enabling your teenager to be as safe as possible on South Carolina roads.
We have a few tips to help your teen stay safe behind the wheel.
- Use the graduated driver's license program.
Research has shown that teenagers who go through a graduated driver's license program are less likely to be involved in fatal crashes. South Carolina has adopted a GDL requiring young drivers to grow into their full license in stages.
Parents can help their teenagers by getting them into the program as soon as they're eligible for a beginner's permit at age 15. Then, help them move along at each stage until they are eligible for an unrestricted license at age 16*.
*If they have gone through each step; or age 17 if they miss any steps.
- Invest in driver's education.
Drivers younger than 17 are required to complete a driver's education course with at least eight hours of classroom time and six hours of time behind the wheel. Even if your teen is old enough to avoid the required classes, they offer valuable defensive driving experience.
- Practice, practice, practice.
One of the biggest reasons teens are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes is that they are less experienced than their older counterparts. The more you let them drive with you, the more practice they will get and the more prone they are to develop the responsible driving habits they have to perform under your watchful eye.
- Limit distractions.
You can set rules that prohibit your teen from having passengers, too many passengers, or talking and texting on cell phones while driving. Those rules will help to limit the likelihood of your teen driving distracted on South Carolina roads.
- Make sure you have good insurance!
Make sure you talk with your insurer and get your teenage driver covered on your policy, or get a separate policy if it's more economical. It is an added expense, but it's important to be protected and to protect your son or daughter if he or she is involved in a car accident.
- Talk to your teen about what to do if he or she is in a crash.
It's hard to think about your teenager being involved in a crash - but it's important to talk about the right response and how to handle a crash if the worst happens. Make sure your teenager knows not to talk to the at-fault party's insurance company until discussing the incident with an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer.
If your teenager was involved in a car accident and you need help understanding your rights and options, and want to know how best to protect and help your teen through this traumatic experience, contact the skilled South Carolina legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers .