Driving is a great way for teenagers to gain independence. However, a newly qualified teen driver is three times more likely to be involved in a collision than a driver that’s just a few years older than them. As a parent, it’s crucial that you teach your child all there is to know about driving safely – you could even take a parenting course to help you effectively do this. Here are some tips that will help you keep your new teen driver safe on the road.
Set an example
Your teen probably won’t ever say it, but they look up to you. They’ll have been watching the way you drive for years and will continue to do so. Be a good driver and your teen is more likely to be one too. Always be polite to other drivers and avoid showing aggression when you’re behind the wheel. Your household should also introduce strict rules such as no drinking and driving and no speeding. Phones and other gadgets are a big distraction in cars, no matter what your age. Keep your technology locked in the trunk of your car or your glove compartment and advise your teenager to do the same.
Clamp down on risky behavior
Studies have found that teenagers are up to three times more likely to display risky behavior when driving with other teenagers in their vehicles. Common risky behaviors include using their phone while driving, speeding, and drinking and driving. Make sure you speak to your teenager about the immediate risks of these driving behaviors, such as damaging their vehicle and injuring themselves and others. You also need to educate your teen on the long-term repercussions. For example, these behaviors could prevent them from getting their dream job or owning a home in the future. If they are caught drinking and driving, they’re likely to get a DUI on their record. This can result in a fine of between $300 and $5000 (make it clear to your teen that you’ll expect them to pay this) and a potential prison sentence.
Supervise your teen’s driving
Your teen may have passed their driving test, but that doesn’t automatically make them confident on the road. Head out with your teen in the car in tricky driving conditions to support and guide them. One of the easiest ones to supervise is nighttime driving. Statistics show that teenagers are three times more likely to have a nighttime collision than adult drivers. Reminding your teen when they need to use full-beam headlights can be really useful and is something that’s easily forgotten. Other driving conditions to consider supervising include heavy rain, wintery conditions, heavy traffic, and highway driving.
Being a parent to a teenager can be stressful. Having a newly qualified teen driver can be even more worrying. But by being a good role model, laying down the law, and being a supportive parent you’ll set your teen up for a safe time on the roads.