Watching your child head out for a drive on their own for the first time is an event with mixed emotions. While it’s common to feel pride as a child gains their independence, there is also a feeling of concern at knowing they are out on the road with all the risks that brings. Driving is even more of a risk for teenagers today when there are more distractions than ever trying to pry their eyes off of the road.
The good news is that there are ways to help make sure that your teenager is as safe as possible whenever they get behind the wheel. By practicing these safety tips you provide the best possible foundation for your child’s driving future.
Set a Good Example
We learn what we see, so the best way to ensure that your child practices safe driving is to do the same. Make sure that you are not distracted behind the wheel and follow all safety procedures so that your teenager sees responsible drivingwhenever they are in the car with you. They’ll take what they learn with them into their own driving habits.
Have a Talk
There are a lot of consequences which go along with driving irresponsibly. Make sure that your teenager knows that they are endangering their own life and the lives of others when they drive in an unsafe manner, and also that there are significant law enforcement repercussions as well if they are not behaving correctly behind the wheel.
Set Concrete Rules
Make sure that your child knows that there are parental rules they have to follow when driving and consequences if they fail to live up to them. The exact punishments for offenses like speeding or looking at their phone are up to you. There’s not one correct set of rules and punishments, what’s important is simply that you have clear rules and you stick to them.
Most states have restrictions which apply to young drivers but you don’t have to be bound to just the rules of the law. Set limits on what is acceptable for your teen, including the hours of the day or night in which they can drive and the number and types of passengers they can drive with.
Utilize New Technology
While setting rules in the car is important, many of the unsafe habits teens fall into need to be seen to be identified, which is difficult since you won’t always be there. With teen driver technology that’s no longer the case. If you upgrade your family car with teen driver technology you can monitor your teen’s behavior and set warnings or notifications when unsafe practices like speeding or the need to slam on the brakes occur.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just because your teen has earned their license and no longer legally need adult supervision doesn’t mean the practicing needs to stop. Let your child drive when going places together to get more experience behind the wheel under your supervision to notice and correct unsafe habits.
Prepare a Kit
Even the safest drivers can fall victim to unforeseen dangers on the road. Place an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk of your teen’s car so that they are able to stay safe in an emergency situation.
While you may not be able to completely remove the anxiety which comes from knowing that your teenager is growing up and driving on their own, that doesn’t mean you can’t lower that stress. When you know that your child has learned all of the appropriate safety tips of driving and can be counted on to drive responsibly you get something truly invaluable — the peace of mind of knowing that your child is safe.