As we begin the transition from winter to spring, plus the beginning of a new year, many teenagers will come of age to start driving on their own. To help them prepare and stay safe on the road, it’s important for parents to go over some essential safe driving topics.

Discuss the dangers of driving while under the influence.

Whether someone is participating in drugs or alcohol, driving while impaired can be fatal for drivers and others on the road. Plus, they could result in a DUI or DWI, which could result in a criminal record and a loss of their driver’s license.

Discuss the dangers of driving while distracted.

Just like the point above, driving while distracted is a danger to the driver and others around them on the road. While many states have implemented laws to try and stop this from happening, some people still underestimate the danger or focus only on texting. However, doing other tasks like eating, putting on makeup, or choosing music can also result in a collision. In Minnesota, we have a Hands-Free Law that only allows drivers to use their cell phones through voice commands or single-touch activation that do not require you to hold the phone.

Advise them on what to do if they get into an accident.

First of all, make sure they always have their insurance card and driver’s license on hand in case of a collision or emergency. If they do get into an accident, have a list of directions for them in the glove box. These situations can be very stressful, especially if it’s their first, so this helps them remember everything.

  • If you’re able, try to direct your vehicle off the road to avoid any secondary collisions as cars have to drive around. Then you can also exit your car safely.
  • Assess yourself for any injuries while calling 911. Let them know if you see any immediate hazards, such as a fire, and injuries. You’ll need to also assess your location for the police responding to the call and for your eventual insurance claim. Also take note of the road conditions.
  • Go check on the other driver and exchange information. You’ll need the make/model/year of their car, their insurance policy number, and their name/contact info.
  • Take pictures of the crash for your own records. Instant photo claims should not be used for collisions, so avoid going that route. Once you’ve gotten all you need and the police have filed a report, then notify your insurer of the accident to start the claims process.

Congratulations and good luck to all of the new drivers in 2021, and we hope you have a safe year on the roads. If you or your teen are involved in an accident, Superior Collision Center can help you get back on the road in no time.