Whether you are a teen driver or a parent of a teen driver this is all new territory. It can be a very nerve racking time as parents pass the keys onto their new teen driver allowing them to drive on their own. Here are a few tips to make this transition a more relaxed experience for parents and the teen.
10 TIPS FOR PARENTS WITH TEEN DRIVERS
BE OBSERVANT – New drivers aren’t always observant of things happening on the road. When drivers are aware of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to them, and have possible escape routes in mind they and others are safer.
REMEMBER CAR LENGTHS – This is something even more experienced drivers forget. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you in slower speeds, and maintain a larger buffer zone with faster speeds.
CHOOSE A SAFE CAR – If you are a parent thinking of buying your teen their own vehicle make sure safety comes first. You don’t need to purchase a brand new vehicle but make sure it has anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, air bags and has a excellent crash safety record.
CAR LIGHTS ON – Most newer cars have lights that automatically turn on but if you teen driver is using an older car make sure they drive with the headlights on during the day and of course at night.
MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS – Even experienced drives fine things to distract them while driving, but when a new driver is distracted it can be 100X worse. Encourage your teen to turn off their cell phone and place it in the glove-box so they are not tempted to text or make a call while driving. It may be tempting to eat, drink, flip around the radio dial, or play music loudly while you’re cruising around town; however, all can cause your mind or vision to wander, even for a few seconds. And, that can be enough for an inexperienced driver to lose control of your car, or not notice an obstacle in the road.
ROADSIDE EMERGENCY KIT – This would be a great “gift” for a new driver. By having a emergency kit in your vehicle it can make the difference between getting back on the road or being stuck for hours, sometimes in a not so great area.
OBEY SPEED LIMITS – Did you know that 40% of fatal teen deaths comes from speeding while driving? While training your new driver teach them where speed limit signs are so they are fully aware of the laws especially driving through school zones.
ADJUST MIRRORS & SEATS – If your teen is sharing your vehicle make sure they know how to adjust the mirrors and seats because if they don’t it will affect their driving abilities.
LIMIT PASSENGERS – The more passengers a teen has in the vehicle means a higher risk of a fatal crash. With three or more people in the car the risk increases 4x higher when you are a beginner driver.
CREATE RULES – Besides giving your teen driver a safety pep talk before heading out on the open road create a contract so the rules are clearly outlined and what the penalties are if they are broken. Make sure all parties sign the agreement because then there is no misunderstandings when a problem does arise.
There’s no substitute for driving experience and the wisdom that age brings, but by applying the above tips you’ll enhance the odds that your teenage driver not becoming apart of the ever growing accident statistics.
As a parent you may never be totally at ease when your teen is on the road. One way to keep an extra eye on your teen while they are driving is to have a vehicle tracker installed in your vehicle. By doing this you can view exactly where your car is and how fast the car is traveling. This will give you extra security that your child is safe.