What Can You Do To Keep Your Teenage Driver Safe?
If you have kids, it’s inevitable, they will turn into teenagers who will turn into teenage drivers. For most parents, that’s a huge, scary event! It means, waiting to hear the phone ring, waiting for a safe return home, it means their freedom. For the teenager it means no more rides from mom and dad, it’s a rite of passage, it means FREEDOM!
There are good things associated with it too, but here is a sobering fact; according to CDC.gov, teenagers between the ages of 16 – 19 years of age are at the highest risk of a car crash than any other age group. Let’s face it, they’re still young and inexperienced…so what can you do to help them be safer and more responsible?
Isn’t Driver’s Education Enough?
Unfortunately it is not. Yes, they learn the rules and the skills, but it’s up to you to re-enforce what they’ve learned and give them practical and responsible guidelines with consistent enforcement.
It all begins with your example, which doesn’t start the day they get their learner’s permit, it begins the first time they ride in the car with you as the driver, you have to model good driving behaviors. Your role as the example is bigger than you ever dreamed.
Suggested tips to keep your teenage driver safe.
Sadly, nothing can keep them 100% safe, but by using these tips, you’ll have a much better chance…
Set the ground rules ahead of the momentous day of being officially licensed.
- Keep your cell phone off! No talking, no texting. (Not even hands-free)
- Use of a cell phone while driving is on the same level as driving while under the influence. You are distracted and not in control
- Texting not only causes a loss of focus, but requires you to take hands and eyes off the road. Taking your eyes off the road even briefly, 4-5 seconds, you can drive the distance of a football field…a lot can happen in that distance.
- Allstate has a “Don’t Text and Drive” contract both parent and teen can commit to
- Everyone always buckles up. That goes for passengers too!
- For a specified period of time, passengers are limited in the car. Some states already have rules that govern that, but if your state doesn’t, it’s a good idea to limit how many, and who can ride along for several months until your new driver has more experience under their belt. Friends in the car are a huge distraction.
- Because there are different challenges driving at night, this should be supervised by an experienced driver for awhile, and solo nighttime driving should be avoided.
- Another distraction that you may want to limit for a time is the radio. If there’s music, teenagers feel the need to “move”, not to mention feeling the need to change channels or turn up the volume.
- Have your teenager drive with the headlights on, making them more visible to oncoming traffic, especially early morning or late afternoon.
- Give your new driver plenty of opportunity to practice their driving skills in different driving conditions, while you’re with them in the car: nighttime, rainy, freeway, heavy traffic, etc.
- Insist on compliance with the speed limit, and though this shouldn’t be an issue for teenage drivers, insist on no alcohol or other behavioral modifiers.
Along with an additional driver comes additional insurance. If you have a new driver in your home, Contact Us, we’ll help you get the policy and the rates that are right for you.
Enjoy your new driver, it is an exciting time!