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6 Tips for Safer Indiana Teen Driving

Posted Jan 05, 2022 by Matt Boulton

Teen Driver Safety

Hoosier teens obtaining a driver’s license will be put to the test by their instructors to help ensure they meet Indiana’s guidelines to operate a vehicle, however, once they are on their own, concerns quickly turn to their level of inexperience behind the wheel.

Having handled a number of teenage car accidents, attorney Matt Boulton can attest to the many dangers that await novice drivers and has compiled this list of 6 tips to help keep your teen driver safe.

Be Sure They Take Driving Classes from an Accredited School

The first step is to locate a reputable driving school that will provide professional instruction for teen drivers. The Indiana BMV offers a list of licensed driving schools that offer various driver training for young Hoosiers.

In addition to learning Indiana’s driving laws, a licensed school should also this provide an overview of various safety tips that are designed to help keep your teen driver safe. Encourage them to pay attention to the tips discussed during these classes.

The Indiana driving school you select should provide drive-time with the teacher of the course. This allows your teen to gain practical experience under the guidance of an instructor. As expected, this time on the road can help your teen establish a solid foundation for safe driving habits.

Teach Them the Importance of Seatbelts

We have witnessed accidents in which serious injury could have been avoided (or lives saved) if the teen had only been wearing their seatbelt. For this reason, teen drivers need to understand the critical role of seatbelts.

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In addition to serious injury, Matt also suggests that you point out the legal and financial ramifications they face by not wearing their seatbelt. If your teen says that the belt is somewhat uncomfortable, let them know that cushions and other comforts can be placed on the belt to eliminate issues. Additionally, the mention of a potential ticket for non-use might catch their attention!

Focus on Defensive Driving for a Teen Driver

Never minimize the role of defensive driving and its importance for teen drivers. Defensive driving not only protects your teen, it also keeps other Hoosier drivers safe. Unfortunately, some drivers may engage in aggressive driving, e.g., speeding and tailgating vs. defensive driving. A number of teen car accidents have been determined to be caused by reckless driving, either because the teen was distracted or failed to drive with defense in mind.

Of course, not every accident involving a teen is the result of their own mistake. Hoosier teens should also be aware of and avoid other drivers that display aggressive behaviors. This includes minimizing risk by avoiding situations such as rush hour, congested roadways, and/or dangerous Indianapolis intersections.

Understand Indiana Weather

If your teen learned how to drive during the warmer, dry months they may lack the real-time experience that is needed to safely travel on Indiana’s roads during the winter months or on days when rain complicates matters. Because of this, you should try to accompany your teen when he or she first faces new weather conditions.

Doing so can help them understand what they should look for in these conditions. For example, you can point out patches of ice and discuss the importance of slowing down ahead of time in the snow; how to properly navigate a skid; proper use of headlights and windshield wipers, and the dangers of hydroplaning, etc.

Patience Saves Lives and Avoids Injury

Being impatient behind the wheel not only is a primary cause of car accidents, it also can be the source of road rage. Nowhere is patience needed more than when traveling on our roadways. It is important for teen drivers to remain calm while driving and take the necessary time needed to get to their destination.

For example, a young driver may be less patient with the delay caused by rush hour or an accident that has closed down a traffic lane. In these instances, it’s best to relax, be aware of your surroundings and realize everyone else is in the same boat!

Avoid the Left Lane at First

As teens learn how to drive, it can be good practice to avoid the left lane of a multi-lane road whenever possible. Traditionally, the left lane is used as a passing lane and generally sees cars driving at higher speeds. Unfortunately, traffic in the left lane also may be more prone to tailgating and other aggressive behaviors.

However, your teen should also learn the importance of properly switching lanes and safely maneuvering into the the left lane before they make a left turn.

Questions About Teen Driving?

If your teen has been involved in an accident, or you have general questions about these tips, please feel free to contact us for help.

Matt Boulton

Author Matt Boulton

Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana. He designed his firm for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.

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