Oct. 19-25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and no time is better than the present to review the importance of learning safe driving practices from a young age.

Every year, more than 5,000 teens in the U.S. are killed in auto accidents. The Texas car accident attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers know that it’s the leading cause of death among 16- to 19-year-olds. This year’s theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week is “It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving.” But what does that mean, exactly?

Parents and teens must work together to create a safer driving experience. Parents should teach safe habits, but teens also have the responsibility to learn and embrace those teachings. These tips from our Texas car accident attorneys can help both parents and teens.

1. Supervised Driving: Both teens and parents should keep a driving log of the supervised driving time a teen experiences. This number should equal AT LEAST 65 hours with a responsible adult driver.

2. Know the Facts: Texas car accident attorneys know there are three common errors that account for nearly half of all serious accidents. Teens and parents should know them, too: Driving too fast for current road conditions; driving distracted; and failing to see a hazard. Knowing is only half the battle though.

3. Learn Critical Driving Skills: There are many driving skills that are critical for young drivers to learn and implement. Teens should insist upon being taught these skills, and parents should make sure to teach them.

    • Observe and obey the speed limit, and know when you need to adjust your speed to the situation at hand.
    • Recognize and avoid distractions, including cell phones, radios, and passengers.
    • Check for hazards around you and ahead of your so that you have enough warning to react appropriately.

4. The Right Learning Environment: Driving is one area where constructive criticism can make the difference of a lifetime, as our Texas car accident attorneys know all too well. Parents, stay calm and respectful while still giving the feedback your teen needs to hear. Teens, keep an open mind and absorb the skills your parent is teaching you as the important and potentially life-saving lessons that they are.

Our Houston car accident attorneys understand that the freedom of the road is something most teens long for, but learning safe driving skills before enjoying that freedom are critical to your safety and the safety of others on the road around you.