It's time for your teenager to start driving and your stress level is escalating. There's good reason for that stress. According to research, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age have the highest accident rate nationwide.
In fact, statistics show that car accidents are the leading cause of death among those 15 to 20 years old. Luckily, there are things that you can do, as a parent, to help keep your teenager safe while they're driving. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your teen to be a safe driver.
Talk to Your Teen Safety Issues
Don't assume that your teen is learning everything they need from a driver's training class. Use drive time as an opportunity to reinforce the things they're learning from the practice permit test. Ask questions that will encourage open communication.
For instance, ask your teen why it's important to look both ways before proceeding through the intersection once the light turns green. They may not realize that it will protect them from someone who is about to run a red light.
Ban Cell Phone Use
This may be the most important driving safety rule you will ever enforce with your teenage driver. Statistics show that in 2012, cell phone use was responsible for over 3000 accident-related deaths.
Make sure your teenager knows that cell phones are not to be used while driving. Teach them to turn off their phones while they're driving and place them in the glove box. This will ensure that the phones are out of sight and out of mind.
Limit the Transportation of Friends
Your teenager is probably looking forward to using their new license to transport friends. However, that practice is extremely dangerous, especially for new drivers. Statistics show that driving with passengers is the cause of 15% of car accidents involving teenage drivers. Keep your teenager safe by banning the transportation of friends until your teenager has been driving for at least the first six months.
Have Your Teen Contribute
Perhaps the best way to teach driver responsibility is to have your teen assume responsibility for their driving privileges. Have your teen share in the cost of auto insurance, gasoline and routine maintenance. Once they understand the costs associated with driving, they'll be more likely to drive responsibly.
Driving is a major milestone in your teenager's life. Help your teen drive safely and responsibly by utilizing this list of simple safety tips.