Our Pennsylvania car accidents library is one article larger today than it was last week. We added an article entitled “Tips from an Erie Car Accident Lawyer: Teach Your Teen to Drive in Pennsylvania.” We write all of our articles with an eye toward being helpful but this one’s origins stem from my personal experience.
Last month, my oldest turned 16. On her birthday, we took her for her driving permit exam and, to no one’s surprise, she passed. She’s a smart girl, after all. And she’d prepared extensively, because that’s how she is.
Since then, she’s been driving in all sorts of situations. We started in my office’s empty parking lot and have progressed to night time driving in the terrible snow conditions Erie’s experienced the last several evenings. Her learning process has really gone well, by most measures.
The article in our Pennsylvania car accident library offers helpful tips, like “Remain Calm.” It doesn’t, however, address the most fundamental question a Pennsylvania parent faces when their teen turns 16: Is my teen ready to drive?
I don’t have doubt (much, at least) about whether my oldest is ready. She’s demonstrated responsibility and risk aversion most of her life. She’s taken the process of learning seriously and, now that she has her permit, has shown a healthy respect for the vehicle and traffic. But not all teens are like that, are they?
Take my son, for example. He’s not 16 yet. On his 16th birthday, I hope to be as confident about him as I was about my daughter. Right now, however, there’s cause for concern. This is a boy, after all, who at 14 still has to be reminded to use soap when washing his hands. And I won’t even tell you about the struggle with bathroom habits. Attention to detail is not his strong suit.
So, here are some things I thought about before I let my teen get behind the wheel:
Most importantly, does she demonstrate good judgment even when subject to peer pressure? This is really where the rubber meets the road, friends. Most teens have the raw material to be successful drivers one day. What makes them dangerous now is the propensity of teens in groups to abandon all intellect and judgment and engage in crazy, risky behavior. Does your teen become a different person when one or two friends are added to the mix? Think twice, then, about whether she’s ready to operate a 4000 pound chunk of steel at 65 mph.
Does your teen follow your rules? If she doesn’t, you can be reasonably confident she won’t follow the rules of the road, either.
Does your teen seem excessively confident or excessively nervous behind the wheel? Neither is good. A healthy respect for the dangers of driving coupled with calm resolve is best.
Does your teen understand that a “safe” driver is the only “good” driver? Or does your teen think a “good” driver is one who can drive really fast in heavy traffic or on windy roads? A teen who thinks a “good” driver is the latter will eventually be tempted to prove just how good she is.
Here’s hoping your decisions are easy ones and good luck!
Hurt in a Pennsylvania Car Crash?
If you, your son or daughter has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, the Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can help. Call us today at 814-833-7100 or use the consult form above or the live chat option to the right. We’ll make sure you get a free consultation scheduled at your convenience.