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Being a Traffic Parent

For young people, getting a driver’s license is a momentous event. After years of having mom and dad chauffeur them around, they now have the freedom to go as they please. Unfortunately, that can also mean sleepless nights for parents, as teens are at greater risk for car accidents and injuries. Being a good traffic parent, modeling safe driving behaviors, and teaching teens about Nevada written and unwritten driving laws can help ensure they are protected.

Teen Car Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities for teens throughout the U.S. Close to 240,000 are treated in hospital emergency rooms as a result of crashes and collisions each year, while more than 2,300 others end up dying as the result of their injuries. Common reasons that make teen drivers more dangerous than other age groups include:

  • Inexperience behind the wheel means they are less likely to handle sudden situations and changes in road, traffic, or weather conditions properly;
  • Teens are more likely to go over the speed limit and to drive too fast for conditions;
  • Teens often engage in reckless driving behaviors, such as tailgating and improper passings;
  • Teens are more likely to be distracted by electronic devices and friends who are passengers in the vehicle.

Being a Good Traffic Parent to Your Teen

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has numerous requirements that must be met before they will issue a driver’s license to a teen. In addition to having a learner’s permit, they must provide proof of attendance in school and pass different types of testing. This includes knowledge and skills tests, which will require them to study Nevada driving laws and to prove they are able to handle themselves and the vehicle they are driving properly in different situations.

As parents, you can help protect your teen by doing the following:

  • Make it a habit to ride with your teen regularly, giving them tips or pointing out skills that are important.
  • Model good behavior by following all written Nevada traffic laws, such as signaling when making turns and coming to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs.
  • Let them known about unwritten laws, such as being patient in traffic and allowing themselves plenty of time to reach their destination.
  • Insist that they and their passengers wear a seat belt at all times, and insist on them in your own vehicle.
  • Emphasize the importance of paying attention when driving, and insist they refrain from texting or other activities that could divert their attention.
  • Limit the number of passengers your teen has in their vehicle, which are an additional source of distraction.

Emphasize to your teen that following the law and being a considerate driver who respects others on the road can help prevent car accidents from occurring. In the event of a car accident, however, consider reaching out to a Las Vegas car accident attorney for professional help.