As a parent, ensuring the safety of your teen drivers is a top priority.
By taking proactive measures and fostering responsible behavior, you can help your teenagers navigate the roads safely.
Driver’s education matters
In 2020, 2,800 teens aged 13-19 died and 227,000 received injuries in car accidents in the U.S. according to the CDC. The first step to protecting your teens is to enroll them in a thorough driver’s education program. These programs provide theoretical and practical knowledge, laying a solid foundation for responsible driving.
Establish clear rules
Familiarize yourself with your state’s GDL program, which typically includes restrictions on nighttime driving and the number of passengers during the early stages of driving. Then, set and communicate clear rules regarding driving. This includes curfews, passenger limits and restrictions on phone use while driving. Teach your teen the consequences of breaking these rules.
Lead by example
Your actions behind the wheel significantly influence your teen’s behavior and attitudes toward driving. Avoid using your phone or becoming distracted while driving. Highlight the significance of defensive driving techniques, such as anticipating the actions of other drivers and staying vigilant to potential hazards on the road.
Maintain open communication with your teens about their driving experiences. Encourage them to share challenges and concerns to foster a sense of trust. Emphasize the dangers of distracted driving, particularly the use of mobile phones. Discuss the potential consequences of risky behaviors like speeding or driving under the influence. Help your teen understand the importance of making responsible decisions on the road.
For the best results, spend time practicing with your teen in various driving conditions before allowing them to drive independently. Gradually increase the complexity of driving situations as their skills improve.