Hundreds of people nationwide lose their lives in car accidents over the year-end holidays every year, including in Pennsylvania, and those left with serious injuries make up hundreds of thousands more. Sadly, many of these victims are young, inexperienced teenage drivers who were unprepared for the hazards posed by holiday traffic and winter weather hazards. Safety authorities suggest parents of teen drivers make road safety part of their year-end traditions.
Are the holidays also your family's happiest times for making memories to last a lifetime? Then you might want to do whatever you can to avoid adding sad memories to year-end celebrations for years to come. Most car accidents are preventable by following basic safety precautions, which are particularly crucial for young drivers who lack the experience to make instant decisions in emergency situations.
Teach by example
Children naturally mimic the habits of their parents, and if they see you buckling up every time you get into the car, they will likely do the same, and it will probably become second nature and life-long habits that they will pass on to their children. However, that is not enough because of the added risks during the holidays with fewer daylight hours, adverse weather conditions and no shortage of impaired drivers with which to contend.
Safe habits to teach your teen driver
The following points are just some of the habits to teach your teenage driver -- not for the holidays only but to practice throughout the year:
- Seat belts: The driver is responsible for the safety of any passengers in the vehicle, and he or she must make sure that everybody buckles up. Although it might be a while before your teenager may transport passengers, learning the importance of seat belts can prepare him or her for the time after these restrictions.
- Defensive driving: Teach your teenager not to drink and drive, and to avoid distractions, but to expect every other driver to be impaired or distracted. This might teach him or her to be a defensive driver who considers every decision while driving with safety in mind.
If safety is your teenage driver's primary concern from an early age, he or she will help the family to gather happy memories over the holidays of many years to come.
Accidents might still happen
Despite all your teachings and setting good examples, another driver's negligence might cause an accident that sends your child and his or her passengers to a hospital. If this happens, you and the parents of the other injured teens in the car will be entitled to pursue financial relief. An experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can provide support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings.