Learning how to drive is one of the most exciting milestones in one’s life. At this stage, teenagers are eager to learn and practice a new skill that will help them in the future. As a parent, you are responsible for ensuring that your teen driver acquires the appropriate education, practice, and resources to obtain safe driving. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some tips that can help you avoid injury during a car accident.

However, car accidents may still happen for several reasons, such as other drivers’ road behaviors, road conditions, and others. As a parent, your child’s well-being and rights are top priorities in such cases. This guide will teach you how to protect your teen driver’s safety and rights in a car accident.

What Are the Dangers of Teen Driving?

In the United States, although there are fewer teen drivers compared to other age groups, young drivers aged 16 to 19 are involved in auto crashes at a rate three times higher than drivers aged 20 and over in 2021. But how is teen driving dangerous?

For one, teenagers have limited driving experience, making them less adept at navigating different traffic situations, reacting to unexpected events, and making split-second decisions. Teens are also at a heightened risk of accidents when driving at night due to reduced visibility and an increased likelihood of encountering impaired or fatigued drivers. 

Additionally, they sometimes fail to use their seatbelts when driving. In 2020, 56% of teen drivers and passengers aged 16-19 who died in car accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash in the United States.

Teen drivers are also prone to being distracted by cell phone use, mainly engaging in social media or texting, diverting their attention away from the road. Finally, some engage in underage drinking or drug use, leading to impaired driving and a higher likelihood of accidents. 

Promoting safe driving habits and enhancing parental involvement through driver training programs to mitigate the risks associated with teen driving are crucial. Aside from this, it is essential to refrain from allowing teen drivers to operate vehicles in hazardous conditions.

What Happens If My Teen Driver Gets Involved in a Car Accident?

If your teen driver gets into a car accident that another driver causes, that person should be liable for the damages. This means that you can file a car accident claim against the at-fault party to receive compensation for the losses.

However, you can also pursue a case if you are confident that these conditions are met:

  • The other party’s actions caused the collision.
  • The accident resulted in your teen driver’s injuries or damages.
  • You have evidence to support your claim.

On the other hand, if your teen driver causes a car accident, they are responsible for the victim’s damages. However, if they are minors, you – the parent or any guardian – will likely be accountable for paying the damages and expenses of the crash.

5 Ways to Protect Your Teen Driver’s Rights in a Car Accident

Car accidents are inevitable occurrences that can happen to anyone at any time. While we can always practice safe driving, we can’t control other road users’ behaviors or other factors that may influence the occurrence of auto crashes.

This is why it is best to ensure that you follow the tips below to protect your teen driver’s well-being and legal rights in case of a car accident:

Make Sure They Are Insured

The first step in guaranteeing your adolescent driver’s safety and compliance with the law when driving and getting car insurance. You can accomplish this by adding them to your current insurance policy or obtaining a different one for them. Parents usually contact their insurance company to add a teenage driver to their existing coverage.

It’s crucial to remember that adding a teenage driver to an existing policy is typically less expensive than acquiring a new one. Nonetheless, you must confirm that your current policy’s deductible and coverage limitations are adequate to safeguard the teen driver. If not, you may need to modify the coverage by considering several factors, such as your financial status and the car’s worth.

Alternatively, you can purchase new insurance coverage, depending on what kind best fits your teen driver’s needs. Choosing the appropriate coverage is crucial; you should consider the teen’s driving record and the type of car they plan to use.

Enroll Them in Driving Training

The United States has a progressive licensing program called the Progressive Driver Licensing (GDL) Program for teenagers starting their driving journeys. It is a multi-phase program with age requirements, training requirements, and limits tailored to lower the number of accidents and encourage safe driving practices. 

With the help of this program, young drivers can get the necessary experience and skills in an organized manner before gaining full driving rights. You may also enroll them in other driving training to equip them with the required knowledge and skills to navigate the roads safely. 

Teach Them Their Rights

Aside from understanding the rules of the road, it is also crucial that teen drivers understand their legal rights when driving. This will help empower them to navigate various driving situations confidently and responsibly. 

Teens who receive guidance about their rights also have a greater feeling of accountability for their actions when driving, which encourages safer driving habits and lowers the risk of infractions or collisions.

Cooperate with Authorities

One of the most prevalent reasons why adolescents are tagged as hit-and-run drivers is that they are often afraid to confront authorities and other individuals involved in a car accident. It is essential, then, that you educate your teen driver to cooperate with the authorities if involved in an auto crash. Aside from ensuring that they follow the law, this will also help them avoid looking like the at-fault party in the collision. 

You must remind them that as they cooperate with law enforcement, you must prevent them from apologizing or admitting fault for the crash. This will help protect their legal rights in such instances.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

Most parents ask, Should I call a lawyer after a car accident involving my teen driver? You must hire a car accident lawyer for an accident, especially if your teen driver is involved. This is because teen drivers are often pressured into admitting fault for collisions, even if this is not the case. 

For example, your teen driver is entering an unsignalized intersection. Before moving, they checked each path and determined that there were no standby or upcoming cars, so they decided to cross. Unfortunately, a speeding driver suddenly entered the area and crashed into your child. 

The other driver confronted your teen and pressured them into admitting fault. Since your teen driver didn’t know they had the right in such a situation and wanted to avoid making the other party mad, they accepted liability. Unfortunately, this means that you must cover the expenses of the damages. 

A car accident has the resources, expertise, and ability to collect evidence, prove fault, and fight for your case. Furthermore, an attorney can evaluate the total damages to ascertain fair and reasonable compensation. 

, 5 Ways to Protect Your Teen Driver’s Rights in a Car Accident, Days of a Domestic Dad