When the time comes for your teenager to get behind the wheel, your anxiety levels can ultimately go through the roof.
That being the case, what are you doing to make sure your teen is as protected as possible when he or she starts driving?
Although you can only do so much to protect them, don’t feel like they are an accident waiting to happen. In fact, millions of teens get through their teen years without even a scratch while behind the wheel.
So, will you all you can to make sure your teen is as safe as possible when they head out into the world each and every day behind the wheel?
Start Them out Early on Safety Reminders
In order to keep your teen as safe as can be, remind them (and you) of these five tips when driving:
- Avoiding distractions – First and foremost, make sure your teen understands the importance of steering clear of distractions. Many of those distractions are from the driver themselves, so it is important to teach them at an early age that such distractions can ultimately be deadly. For instance, does your teen live on his or her cell phone? If so, you have to teach them from day one when they get permission to drive that cell phones and driving do not go together. Make sure they understand from day one that cell phones should only be used in emergencies when driving, notably once they have safely pulled to the side of the road. As too many parents have sadly discovered, their teen was texting or talking to a friend on the phone while driving, only to end up badly injured or worse. Teens should also avoid doing tasks like changing the radio station constantly, eating and drinking while driving etc.
- Using technology – While cell phones are not a good technology to use while driving, teens can use other forms of technology to make their rides safer. One of those would be backup camera systems to improve driver safety. With such a device in the vehicle, teens are able to better see where they are going when leaving a driveway, a store parking lot etc. Given fender-benders prove to be a common occurrence for drivers of all ages, lessening the odds of getting into one works in your teen’s favor. He or she will feel more confident behind the wheel by avoiding even the smallest of accidents.
Reinforce Dangers of Drinking and Driving
- Alcohol is a big no-no – If you have ever seen pictures or even a video of an accident where alcohol was involved, you know how devastating it can be. That said it doesn’t hurt to let your teen see some of those images and/or videos before driving for the first time. While you are not out to freak them out, you do want to put a little reminder in their heads of the dangers drinking and driving can lead to;
- Vehicle condition – Although there’s a good chance you own the vehicle your teen will first get behind the wheel of, some teens buy their own cars or their parents do it for them. In any case, remind your teen of the importance of vehicle maintenance. By properly maintaining the tires, brakes, turn signals etc. your teen will be safer for it. Teaching them at an early age to care for the vehicle they driver should lead to a lifetime of such care;
- Examining safety – Lastly, although your teen will have to pass both a written and driver’s test to ultimately get on the road, he or she can benefit from periodic safety reminders. Whether they use manuals or turn to videos on the Internet etc. studying the rules of the road is one exam they should always be willing to take.
Don’t panic the day your teen comes to you to tell you he or she is ready to learn how to drive.
While you may be a little anxious, it is all part of the natural process of growing up.