Well, I can easily say that it is probably impossible to make sure that your teen driver is safe. Between other drivers and their lack of experience, we cannot begin to kid ourselves that we are somehow magically able to protect them from some of the harder lessons of driving. We can however, do all that we can to make sure that we have covered the bases that ARE within our power to cover.
Use third party help:
You talk to anyone in the insurance business and they will tell you one way to really get your young driver started on the right foot are to get them into a driving instruction class. These classes are designed especially for young drivers. And if you haven’t learned it already, you might as well realize that your teen will accept information better from someone / anyone other than their parents.
Help them master the skills:
Once you have fully instructed your teen in the technical skills of driving it is a good idea to sit down with them, in a neutral and unusual environment – like taking them out to dinner – just the parents and the one teen and discussing many other things, but finding time in that one night to discuss the magnitude and responsibility of their driving. This would be a good time to consider drawing up a pact with them on the subject of promising to not text and drive and not to drive with too many friends in the car. This pact can be written but should come with serious repercussions.
If your teen is going to truly learn a lesson then it should come with serious conditions. Perhaps if there is an incident involving them breaking the pact and texting and driving, then some unpleasant and uncomfortable result should be enforced. These would be simply up to you and your teen, but once you both have agreed to the details, make sure that you stick to the bargain. You may find that you are so overjoyed that your teen was not hurt in an accident that you might want to overlook the infraction, but your teen needs to know the finality of not sticking to their promises. It’s not like the law will overlook an oversight on their part or that their body can somehow grow a body part or revives a lost friend in case they choose to ignore the conditions of the pact.
Remind privilege of Driving:
Your teen has already heard many messages about drinking and driving and driving with other friends in the car, but this needs to be a topic as well. Emphasize that the automobile that they drive costs money and it needs to be respected. Remind them also that driving is not a right but a privilege. They need to be mature enough to accept the responsibility. Ask them to sign driving privilege contract.
These measures will not guarantee that your teen driver will be safe, but you will be comforted that you have attempted to enlighten them and focus them on the seriousness of driving. The final thing that you need to do is be mature yourself. Realize that you made mistakes as a young driver. Your teen will make mistakes also. Decide now to react mature and responsibly whenever they come to you with news of something bad. How you react will have a great affect on how, or even if, they ever come to you again.