10 Tips for Parents of New Drivers
Parenting can take on new levels of stress as children reach the driving age. Kids think of the freedom that having a driver’s license can bring them. Parents, though, are more likely to worry about the risks. They may wonder about their teenager’s attention to safety and how their vehicle will get through this time scratch-free. After all, teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers age 20 or older.
How can you make the transition as smooth and easy as possible?
Tip #1: Be the example your children need. If you refrain from using a cell phone while driving, buckle up your seat belt and respect others on the road, your teenager will follow your example.
Tip #2: Choose the appropriate car. A newer car may have better safety features and airbags than an older model. Larger cars offer more protection in a crash, and your teen may be a bit less tempted to rev the engines for a race.
Tip #3: Practice makes a (nearly) perfect driver. No one becomes good at something after doing it for just a few hours. Your child needs at least two hours of practice driving each week for six months to reach a level of proficiency.
Tip #4: Limit nighttime driving. Reduced visibility at night makes nighttime driving much more challenging for inexperienced drivers.
Tip #5: Have the impaired driving talk. Talk with your child before he or she gets a license. If your teen were to consume any alcohol or other drugs before getting behind the wheel, they would be engaging in impaired driving. In addition to warning them about the risks of crashes and fatalities, make sure your child knows the legal and economic consequences of disobeying the law.
Tip #6: The dangers of texting. Hundreds of people die every month because a driver got distracted while behind the wheel. Teach your child to keep their eyes on the road and their minds focused.
Tip #7: Prepare them for the weather. Snow? Black ice? Heavy rains? Teach your child to know how to handle the common (and even uncommon!) situations that arise on the roads in your area.
Tip #8: Don’t drive while drowsy. Fatigued drivers are dangerous drivers. Encourage your teen to balance their activities and get enough rest.
Tip #9: Keep an eye on maintenance. If your teenager knows how to test tire pressure, check essential fluids and change a flat tire, they’ll be safer on the roadway.
Tip #10: Yes, they have to buckle up.