Car accidents are the number 1 cause of death in teenagers. Teens behind the wheel are four times more likely to crash than older more experienced drivers. But why is this? Teen drivers are inexperienced, they also tend to get more easily distracted, and drive more recklessly.
Parents, you are the key to keeping your children safe behind the wheel, as well as the others on the road with them. But how can you do this?
Parents should try to start an open line of communication when it comes to driving. Try to find a happy medium. You want to be approachable so they can come to talk to you but still be stern about safety rules and driving privileges.
It is not recommended to give a child their own car until they have earned it. By delaying car ownership this will require your child to ask permission prior to using your vehicle. This will teach them to be responsible and to learn that driving is a privilege.
To make sure that your teen driver understands how important the safety regulations are you should consider starting a driving safety pact. It’s a document that is signed by both the team driver in the parents stating both parties responsibility to drive safe. The CDC offers a campaign called “parents are the key” where you can find a sample driving safety document.
A good list of ideas that should be included in this pact:
- All seat belts are mandatory for both driver and any passengers in the vehicle.
- There will be no speeding allowed. If a speeding ticket is given, the teen driver will be suspended from driving privileges and must pay tickets back and do appropriate chores.
- There should be no phone whether it be call or text allowed in the vehicle when it is moving.
- The teen driver will refrain from driving in bad weather unless it is a necessity.
- No drowsy driving!
- The teen should also make sure that the radio is at a sensible level so that way they are not distracted.
- Always follow traffic lights, speed limit sign, and parking regulations.
- There will be no drugs or alcohol in the vehicle!
If any of these agreements are broken, then the teen driver should take the responsibility and be ready to face consequences, such as no driving for certain period, or revocation of driving privileges at night time etc. Of course these should be part of agreement and should be OKed by both teen and parents. I think with a bit of luck and lots of patience, your teen will learn to drive in no time. However, ou need to make them safe drivers for safety of their own and of others.