Teens learn driving safety rules in school and at home, but often times it becomes more of a challenge to enforce these safe driving rules with your teens once they are actually allowed to get on the road. Preparation and planning is therefore an important part of enforcing important principles such as safe driving. Also, it will take determination and patience to stick to whatever method of reinforcement that you choose.
Driver’s safety is one of the most important and even life saving lessons that we can teach our teenagers, With teen fatalities in car accidents at an all time high, it is foolish to think that our child could never be the one who is killed in a car accident. Ignorance is obviously not an effective way of teaching. Enforcing safe driving with your teen is something that you have the ability to do if you are willing to commit to it. Here are some ideas that will help to get you started thinking about how to enforce safe driving with your teen:
Tips for how to enforce safe driving with your teen
Write up a contract – Remind your teen that driving is not a right that they are automatically entitled to once they turn sixteen. Driving is a privilege that must be earned through hard work, study and proving that they can be trusted with the responsibility of taking their own life and the lives of others into their hands when they get behind the wheel. Sit down and establish expectations before your teen gets his license. Establish a minimum requirement when it comes to his driver’s education course, have a set number of driving hours required with parents, and come to an agreement together about what is reasonable to expect of each other.
Establish consequences – Parents should have established ground rules with their teens before allowing them to drive. Such rules might dictate how many other teens are allowed in the car at the same time or perhaps how loud the music should be. If these rules are broken there should be previously agreed upon consequences that are akin to the consequences a police officer might inflict upon your teen if speeding or not following traffic rules.
Have regular recertification tests – Teens often times see their driver’s education courses as a necessary evil that it only there to impede the process of actually getting a license. Many teens forget the details of these courses after they pass their final exam. This is why many parents are beginning to require their teens to take recertification tests in order to prove that they have actually remembered and internalized the driving rules that they were taught. You can create the rules to this recertification and include the consequences for not passing this test in your contractual agreement so that the teen knows what will be expected of them and has agreed to participate ahead of time.
Other tips and warnings
Just as with most any other lesson in life, your example as a parent will speak volumes above whatever council comes out of your mouth. You need to be sure that you are practicing what you preach, so to speak, and that your teen can look at the way that you drive as an appropriate example to follow. Also remember that the smallest things can make the biggest difference. Such things as not talking on your cell phone while driving or making sure to always fasten your seat belt may just be the sorts of things that can prevent your teen from being in an accident and even save his life.