Most parents are concerned with safety when it comes to their teen learning how to drive. While this is an occasion most teens (and parents!) look forward to for years, it can be scary as well as exciting for all involved.
Because of a variety of factors, age and inexperience being major ones, teenagers have the highest number of accidents of any age group. For this reason, it’s important your teen knows how to drive safely.
The following are just a few things you can do to ensure your teen drives safely:
Make sure they take a driver’s education course. These are not required in all states, but it’s a good idea to take one anyway. Most of these courses, in addition to teaching the fundamentals of operating a vehicle, they also place a heavy emphasis on safety as well and test on how well your teen knows safety rules regarding the road.
Set some rules. You most likely will not be with your teen when he or she drives, but you can set rules with regards to what they can and can’t do while driving. This includes talking on the cell phone, eating, putting on makeup, and being distracted by friends, among other things. You should also make it a rule that your teen wears his or her seatbelt at all times.
Be a good example. Your teen has been watching you drive from infancy, and chances are he or she has picked up a lot of their driving habits from the back seat of the car as they watched you. Setting a good example is an important thing you can do to ensure your teen drives safely. So make sure you always wear your seat belt, obey speed limits and other traffic rules, and avoid following too closely and other aggressive driving habits.
Enforce your rules. Your teen should know that his being allowed to drive is a privilege that he or she can lose at any point if they don’t obey rules. Traffic tickets or accidents such as rear-ending someone should result in a loss of driving privileges, or at least a reduction.
Ride with them before they drive alone. You may want to spend some time driving with your teen so you can see what he or she needs to work on in terms of safety before you allow him or her to drive alone. Most places require that teens with driver permits must have an adult with them at all times anyway, but it’s still a good idea to do so occasionally when your teen has his or her license. So if you notice your teen has a hard time obeying speed limits or drives a little too aggressively, you can offer constructive criticism so they know what they need to work on.
Be aware of local laws. Some states are passing new laws regarding teen drivers, such as cell phone use and the number of people they can have in their car at a time. Make sure you know what your state or city’s laws are regarding teen driving, as they differ throughout the country.
The above are some things that you as a parent can do to ensure your teen drives as safely as possible.