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Parents urged to have 'the conversation' about teen driving

How early is too early to have “the conversation” with your teenage child about driving? Many people would say it’s never too early.

Summer is a particularly deadly time for deadly car accidents involving teenagers, and it kicks off with prom and graduation. Drinking and driving can be a concern, but distracted driving is actually one of the biggest worries.

AAA and Volvo call the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers. July and August are typically the deadliest months for 16 and 17-year-old drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2010 the four deadliest months were, in order: August, July, May and June. On an average day in this country, more than 11 teens die in car crashes.

That’s why safety advocates say it’s important for parents to initiate “the conversation” earlier rather than later. A prevention specialist says that it perhaps should be a series of conversations and should involve the parent addressing issues such as distracted driving, speeding, driver error and drunk driving.

One parent, for instance, says he talked to his 16-year-old son the day he got his learner’s permit. They talked about general rules and what was expected. It was structured, and not casual. It’s also possible to refer to states’ graduated licensing laws, noting it’s against the law to do certain things. Such laws can be labeled as the “bad guy,” some parents say.

Not saying anything, or waiting to say something, can prove costly. The pain of losing a child can last a lifetime.

If you need an experienced Florida car accident lawyer, contact Oldham & Smith today.

Source: USA Today, “Parents urged to talk, make contact with their teen drivers,” Larry Copeland, May 13, 2012

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