October 17th – 23rd is National Teen Safe Driver Week. Do you have a teen driver? Now would be a good time to have a frank discussion about the rules of the road and the risks posed by reckless and distracted driving.
Reckless driving may include speeding or racing, swerving in and out of traffic or unannounced lane changes, tailgating and aggressive driving, and inappropriate adjustments to inclement weather. When combined with things like inconsistent seatbelt use, alcohol or drug intoxication, or distraction, reckless driving can swiftly lead to a serious or fatal automobile accident. Make sure your teen understands these risks and take steps to ensure they do not engage in risky behavior.
Distracted driving includes handheld cellphone use, which is illegal for all drivers in the state of New York, eating and drinking, adjusting music, and talking to passengers. Discuss the dangers of distraction with your teen to help them understand just how deadly this behavior can be.
New York Junior Driver License Daytime Driving Restrictions
Teens with a junior driver’s license in Upstate New York (all counties outside of the boroughs) cannot drive between the hours of 9 PM and 5 AM unless they are driving directly between home and school or a place of employment. During daytime driving hours (5 AM to 9 PM), teens with a junior license may only have one passenger under the age of 21 in the car unless they are driving immediate family members. In both cases, a seatbelt must be used by each passenger. These restrictions help to reduce the risk of reckless driving behaviors and work to keep everyone on the road safer.
Do More Than Talk
Modeled behavior is more effective than lectures. Model good driving habits for your teen. Be patient. Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signs and signals. Turn your cellphone off while driving. Keep your eyes and attention on the road. Always use your seatbelt and never drive while intoxicated. These simple steps give your teen a clear example of how to drive safely and will help ensure the talks you have about their driving habits are genuine and sincere.
And remember, many teen drivers are the victims, not the cause, of automobile accidents. If your teen has been injured, call the Fishkill office of attorney Ira M. Maurer at 845-896-5295 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.