If you have a teenage driver in your household, you might be a little nervous. After all, they are not a seasoned driver and are just starting to learn what an enormous responsibility this is. Keep your teen driver safe by setting a good example and reviewing some important safety tips that will make your child’s time behind the wheel less risky.
Read our teen driver safety guide with the young drivers in your household:
- Never use your cell phone while on the road: According to a study conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA), 70% of teens admitted to using a cell phone while driving. Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and, unfortunately, teens are frequently on their phones when they should be paying attention to the road. Set your phone to silent or, if you are still easily tempted by the sound of your phone buzzing or its light flashing, place it somewhere out of reach before you begin your trip. All calls and texts can wait until you are safely parked.
- Ride with safe passengers: Passengers can also be distracting and increase the likelihood of a crash. In fact, when teen drivers ride with 3 or more other teen passengers, it quadruples their chances of being involved in a fatal collision. When riding with a passenger who is 35 years of age or older, the chances of a teen being killed in a car crash decreases by 62%. An older passenger is likely also a more experienced driver, which means such passengers can provide advice if a sticky situation arises.
- Wear a seat belt: With all the safety features that so many newer vehicles have nowadays, some might think a seat belt is not that important, but it is still the best safety feature your vehicle has and should always be worn by drivers and passengers alike. Not only can it potentially save your life, but it will also spare you the headache of having to pay for a pricey ticket.
- Do not take unnecessary risks: Becoming a driver is an exhilarating feeling, but it is important to enjoy your new freedom responsibly and safely. Do not exceed posted speed limits, run a red light, or engage in any other risky driving behaviors. Even if no one is harmed in an accident, it will still have an impact on your life in other ways and increase your insurance rates.
- Learn how to drive defensively: Following the rules of the road is often not enough to stay safe. You should also learn to drive defensively. Defensive driving includes being aware of your surroundings, controlling your speed, and being prepared to react to other drivers on the road.
- Do not drink or do drugs: It is illegal to drink and drive at any age, but it is particularly deadly for young drivers to partake in this kind of reckless behavior. No matter what sort of peer pressure you are facing, safety comes first.
Parents should log in at least 100 hours’ worth of ride along time with their teen drivers. Offer constructive advice on how your teen can improve and make sure you exhibit these qualities when you are driving. If you cannot lead by example, your teen might heed your advice.
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