With schools all across South Dakota getting ready to close for summer break, one thing that is inevitable is the influx of inexperienced teenage drivers on the streets and highways. The worries that parents feel when their teens are driving on newly minted licenses can be enough to keep many awake at night.
While there is no guarantee that your child won’t be involved in a collision, the following five tips could keep them safer this summer.
1. Drive a safe vehicle.
While you might not be able to afford to buy your teen their own car or truck, make sure that the one they drive is in tip-top shape. Good tires, regular tune-ups and oil changes and checking the fluid levels routinely will keep them running smoothly and not standing on the side of the road beside a disabled vehicle.
2. Follow the rules of the road.
This means slowing down during inclement weather and not exceeding the posted speed limits even on sunny days. The driver and all passengers should also be wearing seat belts, as it is against the law not to have one on.
3. Avoid distractions.
This one can be the hardest of all to follow, as there are so many elements that can distract a young driver from the road ahead. Cellphone usage, including hands-free models, gets the brunt of the blame, but having other riders in the car, applying makeup or doing other grooming tasks and even eating and drinking can be enough distraction to cause a bad wreck.
4. Make all adjustments before starting the car.
If your teen shares a vehicle with you or another sibling, they will probably need to adjust the mirrors, seat and other options when they drive. All adjustments should be done while the car is not in motion.
5. Watch out for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Sharing the roads safely with others means looking and listening for approaching two-wheelers and those walking along the road or crossing at intersections.
Be your teen’s best advocate
Should disaster befall your teen driver and they get hurt in a wreck that was the fault of a negligent driver, you will need to step up and get your teen the medical and legal help they need. An experienced attorney can help.