What to Do if Your Teen Driver Gets a Traffic Citation

Getting traffic citations is never fun, but it can be particularly serious for teens. A citation can show you that your teen is not a responsible driver and could be a sign that your teen is in danger. But, taking the right steps after your teen gets a traffic citation can help.

Hire a Lawyer

First of all, you might want to hire a lawyer to help with your teen's case. Even minor speeding tickets can be a big deal. In some states, your teen might not be able to graduate to the next level of a graduated driver's license if there is a conviction. Plus, you have to worry about already-high teen insurance rates being even higher. In the end, it could be cheaper to hire a lawyer to help with the situation.

Have Your Teen Take a Driving Course

Consider having your teen take a driving course. There are online options that he or she can take. That way, the course won't get in the way of school, homework or your teen's part-time job. Along with brushing up on the rules with your teen, this could be a good way to have the ticket reduced or dismissed. But every situation is different, so you will need to talk to your lawyer about this.

Check Your Teen's Driving Habits

There are apps out there that you can use to track your teen's driving habits. This might be a good idea if you are now worried about your teen's safety. This could help to encourage him or her to slow down and pay attention.

Or, you might want to restrict your teen's driving until he or she is ready to be a responsible driver. You may want to take away your teen's car or restrict his or her driving to certain places, such as school.

Lead By Example

If you get frequent tickets, you can't expect your teen to consider a traffic citation to be a big deal. The old motto that says, "Do as I say, and not as I do" doesn't work well when it comes to driving. If your teen sees you speeding, texting, or playing with the radio, he or she is going to see this as normal behavior.

Consider taking a driving course yourself to show your teen that you are never too old or too experienced to brush up on your driving skills. When you are driving -- both with or without your teen in the car -- get in the habit of following the laws. It is safer, and it'll set forth a good example for your teen driver.

Have a Conversation

Sit down and talk to your teen about the dangers of speeding and breaking other driving laws. Make sure that he or she knows that it isn't about avoiding getting a ticket or being strict for no reason. Following the driving laws is important for everyone so all drivers are safe when they are on the road. Talk to your teen about it so that he or she will understand the importance of being a serious driver.

Realizing that your teen has gotten a traffic citation can be upsetting and infuriating. Luckily, following these steps afterward can help you make the best out of a bad situation.