While it is a time of much excitement for your child, it may be a scary time for you. Your child is old enough to drive to school. Instead of putting him on a bus, on a bike, or in a car with a trusted adult, your child is going to be responsible for driving to school on his own.
There’s an Important Talk to Have Before Your Teenager Drives to School
Before your son or daughter drives to school, it is important to discuss the following:
- The risks common to older teen drivers. 16-year-olds may not have parking privileges at school even if they have their licenses. However, older teens may be able to park on school premises and drive to school. Some older teens may think they are experienced and that they don’t face the risks that brand-new drivers face. However, a 2017 study done by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that significantly more high school seniors reported being involved in crashes or near crashes than high school juniors or sophomores. Additionally, high school seniors were more likely to engage in distracted driving.
- The dangers of having friends in the car. Teens, understandably, want to give their friends rides to and from school and the law may allow them to do so. However, teens need to understand that other teens can be a significant distraction in the car. A teen driver may be distracted by a conversation, by a social media post, or by the actions of another teen.
- What to do after a car crash. Sometimes car crashes happen. Whether or not your teenager is at fault for the crash, your teen should know to call the police, call you, accept medical attention, trade contact and insurance information with other drivers, and not apologize for the crash or speculate about what might have happened.
You can’t prevent every accident, but there are things you can do to try to prevent some serious crashes and to protect your child’s rights if a crash does occur.
Please share this blog post with other parents who may be sending their teen driver off to school. Together, we may be able to prevent some serious accidents and help all teen drivers have safe school years.