How to decide if your teenager is ready to drive

Like many parents of teenagers, you are probably well-aware of when your child is eligible to receive his or her learner's permit, especially if the teen is constantly reminding you as the date approaches.

In the state of California, teens can obtain their driving learner's permit at age 15 and six months, as long as the teen has permission from his or her parent or legal guardian.

The lawyers at Steinberg Injury Lawyers, who help families suffering from the aftermath of Santa Monica car accident injuries, want parents to focus on the most important part of the previous sentence:

...as long as the teen has permission from his or her parent or legal guardian.

No matter how ready your teen thinks he or she is to start driving, as a parent, you make the ultimate decision.

However, sometimes the desire to please your children or the lack of a definite reason why you don't feel they are ready drive overrides your better judgment. That is why we have compiled a list of questions parents can ask themselves about their teens to help make the determination of whether or not they should get behind the wheel. Thanks to Good Housekeeping for helping us develop these questions:

  1. Does your teen respect the curfew that you set? If your teen repeatedly breaks curfew by more than 15 minutes, especially without calling and having a good reason, they may be at a higher risk for an accident. Is your teen at risk for continuing this bad habit, which could lead to him or her breaking speed limit in order to get home on time?
  2. Does your teen tend to be clumsy? Driving requires coordination. Your teen will have to learn to hone their braking and parking skills, as well as how to properly accelerate and turn. Clumsiness or having a carefree attitude about the way they walk or perform activities could carry over to carefree behavior in the car.
  3. Is your teen attentive to the world around them? For example, does he or she notice when chores need to be done? It's important for drivers to pay close attention to detail. Teens must learn to keep their eyes peeled for speed limit signs and traffic lights, as well as watch for other cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
  4. Does your teen act differently depending on who he or she is around? If your teenager has a tendency to try and impress those around them, that could mean bad news behind the wheel. Showing off by speeding, drag racing or driving recklessly could cause a serious car accident.

Want to learn more about how to keep your teen driver safe? Contact the lawyers at Steinberg Injury Lawyers at 800.989.6385 immediately for your free copy of Keeping Your Teen Driver Safe. Or fill out this online form to schedule a complimentary consultation.