It’s the holidays! Time for shiny new gadgets and one of those gadgets just might be a shiny new car for an unsuspecting teen, although test driving might be a giveaway. Before you decide if it’s really the right time, consider if you have been the source of “driver training.”
According to “The Day,” the American Automobile Association (AAA), has heard from a majority of professional instructors that parents are, well, the worse when it comes to getting their children ready to take the wheel. Worse than just 10 years ago, and the survey also included a Canadian province.
Instructors cited parents not investing enough time in the education component of learning to drive, as well as lack of “practice” time. Add to these two, passing on bad habits and it’s no wonder young teens and even those who have learned to drive in the last 10 years don’t understand what to do at a flashing red or yellow light or a four-way stop.
Parents are the gateway to effective driving habits and safety. According to Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations at AAA, “Parents play a major role in keeping our roads safe. Most teens are learning important driving skills from watching their parents and they are picking up bad behaviors along with the good ones. So it’s up to today’s parents to set a good example. It may end up saving their children’s lives.”
Certainly, no discussion can be had about learning the rules of the road, without bringing up distracted driving. Much more of an issue today than ever, distracted driving data indicates that most people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are other passengers, not the teen driver. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA) ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes, the largest proportion of all age drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.
The AAA and surveyed instructors suggest some of the following to help teens become good safe drivers which can carry over into adulthood, namely: parents should start educating children early through conversations about the dangers of speeding and distracted driving; practice road driving when first learning to drive and in varying conditions; establish a parent-teen driving agreement to set the rules and consequences; and states should require more practice hours and driver education for all new drivers.
Buying a “new to you” vehicle
So, decision made, your teen is trained and ready for the responsibility of the road in their own car, potentially a pre-owned vehicle given continued high interest and in many cases the quality of such vehicles. According to the 2015 Used Car Market Report manufacturer certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle sales totaled a record 2.55 million units in 2015, the fifth straight year sales exceeded the previous years’ sales.
Before you take home any used vehicle logon onto the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s companion website, and look for the safety recalls section on the home page, and enter the year, make and model of the vehicle to check for product safety recalls. Also, you may check Carfax to look up the VIN number of the specific vehicle you are interested in purchasing so you will be aware of any recall repairs made or needing to be made. Manufacturers’ recalls are required to be repaired at no cost to you, provided the work is done by an authorized dealership for that make of vehicle. Also, be sure to check for open recalls on any other vehicles you may own. Being aware of recalls is important for the safety of your family and future buyers of the vehicle if you decide to sell or trade the car.
Every day, we at Terrell • Hogan, represent victims of personal injury and wrongful death as they seek justice, and lawsuits we have pursued have prompted safety changes. However, that came after the incidents, accidents and injuries happened. There is still more to do because no one should be allowed to sell a vehicle that is under recall. Because we believe it is important to try to help prevent injuries and wrongful deaths, we will continue to publish information about safety issues and automobile recalls.
Check for Recalls Before You Buy a Used Car