Many parents fear the day their children are old enough to drive. With car collisions listed as the leading cause of death for teens, it is no wonder parents are constantly looking for things they can do to keep their children safe. Car manufacturers identify the need for better safety measures and have created vehicles that include numerous safety features. There is one feature they cannot build, and that is good driver habits.
Tip 1: Stress the Need for Seatbelts
The proper use of a seatbelt can mean the difference between minor injuries and death. Stress the need to wear a seatbelt with your teen. Although some may view seatbelts as un-cool, they should still know that the safety belt is a necessity any time they get behind the wheel. The same goes for their passengers.
Tip 2: Cell Phones and Driving Do Not Mix
Explain to your child the dangers of using a cell phone, even for talking, let alone texting, while driving. This is a very common distraction for teen drivers today. A good practice is to turn off the cell phone while driving, that way notifications and ringing won’t tempt your teen to answer.
Tip 3: Driving Practice Makes Perfect
Just like it does with any other activity, practice will make your teen a better driver. Make time to ride with them, even in an open parking lot or on slow paced streets. Slowly graduate to driving on busier roads and highways. This hands-on practice will give you a chance to share tips and suggestions that will guide your child’s habits behind the wheel. You can also educate Teen drivers to become safer drivers through Teen Driving Programs.
Tip 4: A Period of Passenger Restriction
People can be even more distracting than cell phones. Do not allow your new teenage driver to bring passengers along with them until they get enough practice to feel more confident. Set a length of time then do a test drive. If you do not feel comfortable with their abilities, extend the period. Even after they improve, limit the number of passengers that can ride along.
Tip 5: A Tired Teen Should Not Drive
Some believe that a tired driver can be even more dangerous than a drunk driver. Make sure your teen is well rested before getting behind the wheel. Do not allow him or her to drive after a late night out. This will also encourage better sleeping habits, which can improve your child’s alertness and ability to react to situations on the road.