Perhaps one of the most unnerving moments for Joplin MO parents comes when it's time to let their teenager get behind the wheel--and teach them how to drive. Joplin car accident lawyers remind parents to be strong role models and instill good driving habits, such as buckling up immediately. As parents ourselves, we believe that teaching Joplin teens good driving habits right from the get-go can keep teens safe and reduce the risk of car accidents.
A recent USA Today article pointed out that distracted driving has become so prevalent, that parents even admit to being distracted while teaching their kids to drive! According to a State Farm survey, 53% of parents admit being distracted by cellphones or other electronic devices -- even in the middle of trying to teach their children to drive. Unfortunately, what they are really teaching are habits that can have deadly consequences.
Teens questioned in the same survey put the percentage of distracted parents even higher: 61% believed their parents were distracted while helping them learn to drive. Parents should remember that they are role models. Teens will do as they see their parents do, not simply what they are told.
Putting the cellphone away and not answering it while driving "is not just common sense safe behavior, it's a life-long lesson for the children in the backseat," says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Because teens do have such a high rate of car accidents, injuries and fatalities, teaching them safe driving practices is vitally important. Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, says that teaching your teens to drive doesn't have to be stressful, and he offers some excellent tips.
Possibly the most important is to stay calm, and don't yell. Yelling is likely to make your teens resistant to what you are trying to teach them, and this can have serious consequences down the road when they are driving on their own. Teens are advised, "Don't take personally any criticism of your driving. Your parents are trying to teach you to be safe."
The MSHP press release offers excellent teaching tips as well, including things that may be so habitual or second nature to you that you wouldn't even think to mention it to your teen, such as:
* Make sure your teenager has their heel on the floor when driving -- this makes starts and stops smoother.
* Tell the teenager to look up ahead, rather than directly in front of the vehicle. This will reduce swerving/drifting. The car will travel in the direction they are looking.
One of the most important things teens need to know is about right of way. Joplin car accident lawyers have seen way too many injuries caused by someone who did not yield the right of way when they were supposed to, causing a serious accident.
We hope all our Joplin teens will stay safe on the roads. However, if you or your teen has been injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, you might need a car accident lawyer. Call the Joplin car accident lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. today, and ask out about our free initial consultation.