Young Drivers: Avoiding Accidents and Lawsuits with Proper Education

Matthew Powell

It is no secret that the youngest and most inexperienced drivers are at the greatest risk on the roadways.  The younger generation also happens to be the most likely to be distracted while behind the wheel.  Talking on the phone, text messaging, emails, music, and an ever-growing number of smartphone apps, distraction is always within reach.  Given the many forces working against them, the best defense that young drivers can arm themselves with is knowledge.  As the parent of a teenager, much of the education will come from you.  Have you thought of these topics that should be understood by all drivers?

Understanding the Needs of the Vehicle. Remember that most new drivers know very little about how to operate a car, van, or truck, and they are clueless as to the mechanics that make a vehicle work.  While a full understanding of the internal components is not necessary, there are a few parts of the car that should be covered before the teenager takes to the road.  The dashboard lights and what to do when one glows, for instance, is essential information.  Each and every light should be covered, so the driver knows exactly how to react should one light up while he or she is traveling.  A young driver should also know how to check fluid levels, how to adjust mirrors, how to gauge tire pressure, and, as silly as it might seem to longtime drivers, teenagers will likely need help pumping gas initially.

Practicing Restraint. There is a lot to manage in a vehicle, particularly when you are new to the process, including steering, shifting, signaling turns, operating windshield wipers, knowing how to set cruise control, and understanding when to change lanes.  The brain is already being challenged in this sort of situation, so adding any sort of distraction, whether it is answering a text message, typing information into a GPS, or opening a fast food sandwich can drastically increase risk on the roads.

Reacting to an Emergency. Even longtime drivers are not always as familiar with these concepts as they should be.  Though one always hopes to avoid an accident, knowing what to do if one should occur is very important.  Teach your teenager to get the car out of the path of traffic, how to change a tire, and what to pack in the first aid kit.  These small tips today can prevent a lot of headaches tomorrow by alleviating some of the risk of a Tampa auto accident.

Matthew Powell

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