Teaching Teens to Stay Focused Behind the Wheel
Twenty-first century teenagers are busier than ever. There are commitments to family, school, sports, clubs, work, and friends. While teens somehow always find time to take their driving tests, few spend much time doing their homework about the dangers of distracted driving. As parents, it’s a life or death lesson that you need to teach your teen driver. As you gear up for the holidays, be sure to sit down with your kids and go over these rules of the road with them.
- Go over Colorado’s texting and driving laws. Ten years ago this month, the governor’s signature banned cell phone use while driving for all drivers under the age of 19. The only exception is for emergency phone calls. It is a Class A traffic offense that can result in a $50 ticket for a first offense and a $50 ticket for a second offense.
- Model good behavior. “Do as I say, and do as I do.” Show your teenage driver how to avoid distractions behind the wheel by demonstrating the same behaviors you want them to adopt.
- Self-enforce driving restrictions. Unless a supervising adult is in the vehicle, teen drivers under the age of 21 cannot transport passengers under the age of 21 during the first six months they have their license. With family and friends in town, they can be tempted to bend this rule. It’s better not to let them. The only exception to this law is in medical emergencies.
- Institute a curfew. The hours between midnight and 5 a.m. are notorious for drowsy, drunk, and distracted driving accidents. Unless your teen needs to be out driving because of work, school, or other scheduled events, keep them off the road during these hours.
- Make sure they know the mountains. Many 16-18 year olds will beg and plead for a chance to drive up to Keystone, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and Breckenridge over the holidays. Before you let them make that drive alone, make it with them several times so that they are familiar with the route and comfortable safely handling the vehicle in mountain conditions.
Contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144 for more information about distracted driving accidents. It’s our pleasure to answer your questions and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
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