<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-M6FBM7" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"> </iframe>
24/7 Free Consultation (800) BAGEN LAW "Se Habla Espanol"

Bagen Law Blog

Dare to Prepare Your Teen for the Roads

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Dec 17, 2011 8:45:00 AM

It’s scary to let go, hand your child your car keys, and wave goodbye. You have been driving for some time so you understand the dangers and perils out there on the road ahead. How do you explain that to a teenager who knows everything?

Driving is not what it used to be when you first learned how to. The introduction of smart phones and texting has increased the risks by a staggering amount. Just how much? According to statistics provided by NegligentDriving.org, distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. While 90% of teens admit that they don’t drink and drive, nine out of 10 say they have seen passengers distracting the drivers or drivers using cell phones.

It gets worse. A survey conducted by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Survey found that more than 80% of drivers admit to blatantly hazardous behavior: changing clothes, steering with a foot, painting nails and shaving.

So what can you do to prepare your child and deter them from these bad habits that could lead to life-threatening consequences? We’d like to help. Here are some tips to prepare your teen for the Florida roads.

Practice + Patience = Perfect.

It takes a lot of practice and patience to teach your child how to become a safe driver. The skills need time to develop gradually so they are instilled properly as good habits. Once your child is old enough for a restricted license, it’s time to start practicing. The longer you wait, the less time you will have with your child on the road before he or she is of age to drive alone and at night.

Here are the hours of practice we recommend when your child receives a driver’s permit:

  • 5 Hours – Driving in deserted places
  • 10 Hours – Driving in neighborhoods/residential areas
  • 40 Hours – Driving throughout the city (except for interstates)


Here are the hours of practice we recommend when your child receives a driver’s license:

  • 40 Hours – Driving throughout the city (including interstates)
  • 1 – 3 Months – Driving during daylight hours with parent/guardian
  • 6 – 12 Months – Driving during evening hours with a friend in the car
  • After first year – Driving during evening hours with more than one friend in the car


Prepare for Rain, Sleet, or Snow

The amount of time you spend with your child preparing for weather will depend on where you live. For Florida, you will want to prepare your driver for heavy rains. Remind your child to reduce speed, keep the vision clear, and make sure there are proper treads on the vehicle. In Florida, it tends to rain during sunny weather. This can make it incredibly difficult to see. Some drivers have found it beneficial to wear sunglasses during this paradoxical weather. It allows you to see through the sunlight and into the direction ahead despite the rain.

Avoid Distractions

As a parent of a teenager, you already know that even though your child tells you he or she will not do something, he or she will most likely do it when you’re not looking. Of all of the guidelines, avoiding your cell phone while driving should be the most important lesson you pass on. This is where you can take advantage of applications and innovations that allow you to monitor your child in real-time while he or she is on the road. Some GPS apps will let you monitor your child from your computer to ensure he or she is adhering to the boundaries you have set. Also, some phone apps will allow you to block your child from being able to use the phone while on the road. Ask your insurance company about such apps and be sure to ask to see if they have tools to ensure your child is staying safe on the road – whether they like it or not!

It’s not easy letting go, but hopefully these tips will make it just a bit easier to transition. They grow up so fast don’t they?

Topics: Car Accidents, News