Parental involvement in the teaching of safe driving techniques is vital. Statistically, teens who have parents who are involved in their driver’s education to the point where they are establishing house rules of their own in addition to the state legislation, are less likely to drive recklessly and therefore dramatically decrease their risk of being involved in a car accident even after those parental restrictions are lifted. Although it is not always easy to play such an active role in the driver’s education of your teens, and your teen is not likely to welcome the idea of parental involvement, it is nonetheless the responsible thing for parents to do.
The best practices for parents to help teens drive safe are up to the opinions of those who are actually doing the supplemental teaching. However, there are a few proven methods that parents can employ when helping to teach their teens how to be safer drivers. Some of these practices are listed below:
1.Create a contract – Contractual agreements that are created together by parents and the teen driver can be highly effective in helping teens to drive safely. You will want to include anything in your contract that you are specifically concerned about when it comes to your child. Some suggestions that you may want to consider adding to your contract include:
•Obeying the speed limit at all times.
•Buckling up and ensuring that all passengers fasten their seatbelts.
•Do not ride in a car with someone who has been using drugs or alcohol and do not drive if you are the one who is under the influence.
•Establish rules regarding the number of passengers that are allowed to ride in the car while your teen driver is behind the wheel unsupervised.
•Avoid distractions by abstaining from using cell phone, iPods, and playing loud music while driving.
•Stick to the places that you tell your parents you will be and mind your curfew. If plans change, make sure that you keep your parents updated. Never speed or break any traffic laws in the attempt to get home faster.
•Obey specific nighttime driving rules. Driving at night is much more dangerous for teens both because of inexperience in situations with decreased visibility and also because it is easier to become distracted while driving to do recreational things on weekend nights.
2.Log practice hours – Teens need time to practice their driving skills. Parents need to set aside time to accompany their children on driving outings. Establishing a rule that so many hours driving with a parent must be logged before a license can be earned is a great way to get teens motivated to want to drive with you and then this provides you as the parent with a chance to critique and provide feedback to the teen regarding their abilities.
3.Earn a license by proving trustworthiness – Rules are no good if they are broken. The consequences of positive behaviors and of following driving rules should be to receive rewards in the form of more freedoms. A teen must earn the right to be trusted with their driver’s license and parents should be encouraging their teens to attain this goal as well as rewarding them for making progress.
4.Be a strong parental example – Perhaps the best practice that a parent can do to help their teen be a safe driver is to lead by example. Having a “do as I say, not as I do