Six ways to teach your child to be a defensive driver

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2023 | Personal Injury

It can be difficult to let your kid climb behind the wheel and take off on their own for the first time. You know that the roads out there are dangerous, often filled with distracted, drowsy and intoxicated drivers, and your child may not have all the skills that they need to avoid these dangerous situations.

Although that can be frightening to think about, there are things that you can do to help prepare your child to effectively avoid hazardous circumstances. Let’s take a look at what you can teach your child to ensure that they become the best defensive driver they can be:

  1. Appropriate following distance: A lot of car accidents are caused when a motorist, perhaps one who is distracted, suddenly slams on the brakes, causing the vehicles behind them to slam into them. If you want your child to avoid this kind of wreck, you should teach them to give a significant amount of distance to the vehicle that they’re following.

A good rule of thumb here is to count three or four seconds from the time the lead vehicle passes an object until you pass an object. This should give your kid enough time to slow down, stop or take other evasive maneuvers if the lead vehicle suddenly hits the brakes.

  1. Assume the worst: This sounds bad, but if you want your kid to be a good defensive driver, they should assume that the motorists around them are going to act in unexpected ways. This will drive your child to remain alert when behind the wheel and prepared to take defensive actions to protect themselves.
  2. Check surroundings frequently: To remain cognizant of your surroundings, you should check your mirrors regularly. This allows you to keep track of the vehicles around you and any hazardous situations that may arise.
  3. Maintain an appropriate speed: New motorists often want to drive faster than they should, which can be dangerous. If you want to educate your child about the dangers of speeding, you might want to pull statistics on things like braking distances and the number of accidents caused by speeding. This may help inform them of the dangers involved with speeding and deter them from engaging in it.
  4. Always have a way out: Another good way to protect yourself out on the road is to ensure that you’ve always got a way out of danger. Therefore, try to teach your child to look for escape routes when they’re out on the road so that they can always maneuver their car to safety when danger is present. This is a skill that’s developed over time, but it might be helpful to show them how you do this.
  5. Reduce distractions: As you’re probably aware, distracted driving is prevalent and risky. Although your child has probably heard a lot about distracted driving, try to remind them of ways that they can reduce distractions while driving so that they can remain safe.

What should you do if your child is involved in a wreck?

In the tragic event that your child is injured in a car accident, you should think about what you can do to find accountability and recover compensation. The best way to do this, if the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence, is to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Most people don’t know what the process entails since they’ve never gone through it before, but don’t worry. Legal teams like ours are here to walk you through the process while ensuring that you and your family have the advocacy you need to hopefully position yourself for a successful outcome.