8 Legal Tips to Keep Teen Drivers Safe
Teen drivers are at a higher risk for both traffic accidents and moving violations. It is important to teach teen drivers about the potential physical and legal damages that may occur as a result of careless driving. Adults too could benefit from a refresher.
- Know the traffic laws where you live and lead by example. Most teens learn to drive by watching and driving with their parents. Set a good example by knowing the traffic laws where you live and following them closely. Explain the laws to your children. If you feel your teen needs additional help enroll him or her in a safe driver or driver’s education program.
- Distracted driving is the number one cause of auto accidents. Inexperienced teen drivers are particularly susceptible to distraction. Texting or using a smartphone while driving is now illegal in many states and provinces. It may not only earn you a traffic ticket but could also seriously injure or kill you. Talk to your teen driver about the risks of distracted driving and set a good example for them by turning off your own phone while driving.
- The law has zero-tolerance for teen drunk driving. This means that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 (22 in Canada) to have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system while driving. Drunk driving is incredibly dangerous; it is also a criminal charge rather than a traffic violation. Drivers could face heavy fines, loss of license, legal fees, a criminal record, and possible jail time.
- Teach teens how to behave during a traffic stop. If pulled over you should first pull safely off the road, turn your interior light on at night and keep your hands on the steering wheel. It is important to be polite and cooperative. Comply with the officer’s requests for your name, driver's license, registration, and insurance information. Do not exit the vehicle unless you are directed to do so by the officer. You are not required to consent to a search of your car. If the officer searches over your objection, stay calm, and tell the officer you object to the search but do not physically resist the search. Finally, call your LegalShield provider law firm and speak with an attorney.
- Make sure your teen driver knows they cannot simply hide a ticket. Some teens believe that by paying off a traffic ticket on their own, or worse yet, throwing it away, they can escape punishment. Teach your teen that hiding a ticket only makes the problem worse. Simply paying off a ticket will still mean points on his or her license and a higher insurance rate. Throwing a ticket away means he or she will be convicted of the violation. Failure to pay could result in additional fines and a suspended license.
- Use Snap to send traffic tickets to your LegalShield provider law firm. Snap is a feature of the LegalShield app that lets you take a picture of your traffic ticket with your smartphone and send it directly to your LegalShield provider law firm. You can download the LegalShield app with Snap at the iTunes or Android store today. You may also contact your provider firm directly to submit a traffic ticket.
- Explain to your teen what to do if they are in an accident. After an accident pull safely to the side of the road and out of the traffic lanes, if possible. Even if your accident seems minor, call the police and file an accident report. Exchange information with the other driver(s). Do not admit to guilt or responsibility for the accident to the police or other persons. If there are witnesses on the scene take down their contact information. Retain all documents regarding your accident. Do not sign any documents or agree to any type of settlement without calling your LegalShield provider law firm to speak with a lawyer.
- Teach your teen about car insurance. Part of the financial and personal responsibility involved in driving includes paying for car insurance. Show your teen how much car insurance costs. Explain to them how the coverage works and that those costs will increase considerably if they are in an accident or receive a traffic ticket.
LegalShield provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield Members through member-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. See a plan contract for specific state of residence for complete terms, coverage, amounts, and conditions. This is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice or assistance. If you are a LegalShield member, you should contact your Provider Law Firm.
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