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Conversations that teens and parents should have about graduation

If you have a teenaged driver who is graduating next month, you are probably a ball of mixed emotions. On the one hand, you are proud of him or her because of their accomplishments. Graduating (and even graduating with high honors) is a grand accomplishment. On the other hand, you probably are mystified with how quickly time has passed, as it seems like just yesterday they were in diapers.

But your biggest worry likely has to do with where they are going to celebrate their accomplishments; especially given that alcohol is likely going to be involved. Your child is likely to insist that they will not drink, and you may very well believe them. However, the reality is that many teens live in a world that they do not want their parents to know about for one reason or another. Another reality is that car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 20 years old. So while your graduate may be very responsible, it is worth going over the following guidelines.

Stay off the phone while the car is in motion – Indeed, young people live their lives through their phones. So it shouldn’t be surprising that young drivers take calls and try to send text messages while behind the wheel. Texting and driving is illegal in the state of North Carolina, but studies show that teens routinely ignore distracted driving laws. Nevertheless, parents and teens should have frank discussions about the dangers of using cell phones while driving.

Be mindful of speed laws – While we are definitely concerned with young drivers driving while intoxicated (or “buzzed”), many accidents are caused simply by driving too fast. Excessive speed reduces the amount of reaction time that a driver could have to avoid an accident. So in addition to staying off the phone, driving within the speed laws is also important.

When in doubt, call a ride – As we alluded to earlier, we understand that young drivers may indulge in alcohol, even though they are not supposed to. In these situations, calling an Uber is better than risking one’s life and freedom over getting home.

If you have questions about your legal rights and options after a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you.

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