In light of the recent American Automobile Association’s report on teen drivers being twice as likely to cause another’s death than their own in vehicle accidents, I have compiled some tips for parents on how to help your teens be safer drivers.
Educate your teenage children about traffic safety! While being able to drive is very exciting to most teens, sometimes they do not comprehend all the responsibility that comes with this privilege. Initiating a dialogue with the teen drivers and educating them about the dangers on the road and the driver’s responsibility is crucial.
Remind a teen about the importance of seat belts. Failure to wear a seat belt is not only a traffic offense, but it can mean a difference between life and death. Teach the teen responsibility by encouraging him or her to not only wear a seat belt but to remind everyone in the vehicle to wear a seat belt.
Prohibit the teens from using a cell phone in the car. Numerous car crashes occur because teens do not pay attention on the road and are distracted by calling or sending text messages to their friends. Remind them that being distracted even for a few seconds can cause a serious traffic accident and impact their lives and the lives of others forever.
Develop trust. Make sure your teen knows that it is ok to call you ANYTIME if he or she is too tired to drive, is in trouble or needs a ride home. Tell the teens that your main concern is their safety, and they will not get in trouble for calling you.
Restrict the teen’s nighttime driving. Many traffic accidents occur at night, so restricting teen driving after certain hours might be a good idea.
Educate a teen on topics related to driving. Many teens are unaware of the high costs of insurance and how their traffic offenses increase it, about the impact of traffic violations on their future, including the impact on future employment, and about the high number of traffic accidents that occur every day. Educate them about these topics to make them more responsible on the road.
Make sure that a teen knows that driving is a privilege, not a right. Trust them, but take away the keys if they break the driving rules you have asked them to comply with.
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