It can be nerve wracking to have your new teenage driver out on the road without you. The statistics are not good: six teenagers are killed in car accidents every day while injuries affect thousands more. A third of these deaths were passengers, and a quarter of the fatalities were male. Most did not have a seat belt fastened.
Fortunately, parents are able to greatly impact the way that their teenagers behave on the roads. Adolescents are capable of following rules, but they may need help with establishing a course of action to take if a crisis arises due to a bad decision. As parents, planning and practicing with teens can be helpful for them to feel more confident behind the wheel. The following recommendations may be helpful for guiding your teen toward having safe driving habits.
Tip 1: Set a boundary for number of passengers allowed in the car.
Sadly, the number of people riding in your teen’s car as passengers, especially males, has been directly correlated with an increased risk of an accident occurring. Your state law typically limits how many passengers are permitted.
Tip 2: Buckle every passenger every time.
Ensure that all of your passengers are buckled. Your example is worth a lot, and your kids are more likely to mirror your example. The likelihood of your teen buckling up without ever having seen anyone do it much in the past is slim.
Tip 3: Eliminate any possibility of distraction.
All drivers should avoid checking email, texting, and even having a telephone conversation; however, drivers who do not have much experience are especially susceptible to become a hazard to themselves and those around them. Do not participate in these activities at all, your lead will be followed.
Tip 4: Prove to new drivers that speeding is not worth it.
Set a positive example and ensure that rules are set and followed for the family vehicle. Be sure that you are aware of what the speed limits are and that you are following them, that way your teen is more likely to do the same in the future. A good way to practice this is to quiz your teen on the speed limits in various parts of the city.
Tip 5: Be sure that your teen feels comfortable enough to alert an adult if they encounter unsafe situations.
Teens have reported that they occasionally feel unsafe, even when riding as a passenger with their parent. When young people don’t know how to respond to these types of situations, they may choose to not do anything at all and may eventually take on some unsafe habits they witness. Ensure your teen has many choices if they need to reach home safely, and help establish a plan with your teen if they don’t know how to react.
Fortunately, parents can be consistent with intentional planning efforts to create a positive and safe experience for their teens behind the wheel.