Teen Driver Safety
Learning how to drive can be a great source of joy for your teenagers. It can give them a sense of freedom and responsibility and is a coming-of-age milestone that they have probably been looking forward to since becoming a teen. However, a significant percentage of teen drivers form bad driving habits early on, from talking on the phone to speeding. If your teens are ready to drive, there are a few teen driver safety lessons you can teach them that can help reduce the risk of accidents and injury.
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Stash All Electronics
Today’s teens are constantly connected to their friends via cell phones and tablets, and their mobility makes them convenient but dangerous items once young people get behind the wheel. Texting, talking, and updating social media while driving can cause deadly crashes, so one of the most important tips you can give your teen is to stash all electronic devices away where they cannot be seen before they drive.
If your teens want to use their smartphone for its GPS and mapping apps, encourage them to input the information and place the phone where it can be easily heard before they begin to drive. Let them know that if they take a wrong turn, it is safer to pull off into a parking lot and reposition the system instead of trying to do so while driving.
Your teenagers will probably want to drive their friends around now that they have a license, and while this can be an enjoyable experience for them, you may want to limit the number of passengers they have in the car at one time. One recent report noted that when a teen driver is carrying several passengers of the same age, the fatality risk for each individual rises to over 50 percent if a crash occurs.
When you first allow your teens to drive with passengers, you may want to ride along with them the first few times to help them establish good habits. Remind them that a car is not a toy or a means to take foolish risks or dares just to impress their friends. While your teens might be frustrated by this, they are more likely to remember the message later on when you are not in the car.
Invest in Driving Lessons
It is common practice for parents to teach their teenagers to drive. However, investing in driving school and lessons from a certified teacher can help your kids learn good driving habits and earn a discount on the family’s insurance rate as well. Certified instructors remain updated on traffic laws, can answer your teen’s questions with more certainty, and offer you peace of mind that they are learning from someone with a great deal of experience.
Driving schools also give instructors more control over the practice vehicle, which means they might be able to prevent an accident if your teens make a driving error. For example, if they try to make an unprotected left on a green light, the instructor can slow the vehicle with a brake pedal installed on the passenger side floor, a common feature on student driver cars. Teaching your teens to drive in the family car gives you no such control, and this could result in damage and injury.
Choose the Right Vehicle
If you plan to buy your teen a vehicle, it is wise to consider safety features above all else. Many of today’s cars have a variety of safety tech including rear-facing cameras, lane change assist, and automatic braking. If you are facing financial issues, look into how to buy a new car with bad credit and what types of options are available for you.
Driving gives your teens the freedom and independence they crave at their age. Knowing how to keep them safe while they are on the road can help you let go with confidence and security.
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