A driver’s license is usually a big deal for many teens. Most of them will do all they can just to obtain it. To them, it is their first sign of blissful freedom, meaning they can take over the world, or rather, the road with no watchful eyes of their parents. With almost every teenager looking forward to getting his/her driving license, they also need to know of the risks and dangers that come with being behind the wheel. According to research, the number of teenagers involved in car accidents (before they can even graduate) is higher than any other age group. This is and should be, a reason for concern for many parents today. If you are purchasing a first vehicle for your teenager find the best car finance for students.
One of the reasons for the numerous teen-involved accidents is their lack of experience on the road. While it takes a bit of practice to master the art, one needs to be attentive and careful when behind the wheel. All they need is guidance on how to navigate and overcome the various challenges on the road and how to be safe drivers. Outlined below are a few tips on how to keep your teenage son/daughter safe, especially after obtaining their driver’s license.
1. Emphasize On The Importance Of Seatbelts
A seatbelt is designed to safely keep you anchored to your seat, hence preventing you from getting injured should the car come to an abrupt stop. You thus want your son/daughter to know and understand this and encourage them to put on their seatbelts first thing after getting in the driver’s seat, even before starting the engine. Failure to have a seatbelt on could be the difference between being forcefully ejected from the vehicle (through the windshield) and sustaining injuries. It is also worth noting that many have lost their lives simply because they didn’t have the seatbelts on.
The seatbelt will also protect you from whiplash should the car spin out of control too. The fact that you don’t have to worry about anchoring yourself in such an event increases your chances of regaining control and preventing a crash. You thus want your teenage son or daughter to understand the importance of having seatbelts on and emphasize that everyone in the car is properly belted before setting off.
2. No Drinking And Driving
Most kids today are more proactive as compared to their parents at the same age. According to research, teenagers account for more than 11% of all alcohol consumed in the US alone. This is not only disheartening but also a reason for concern, especially if/when they have a driver’s license. Since he/she might drink without your knowledge, you want to sensitize them on the risks involved with drinking and driving. He/she should under no circumstance get behind the wheel when intoxicated or fatigued. Let them understand that this is for their own good and health, not just to avoid getting arrested.
In any case, drunk drivers can warrant suspension of license they worked so hard to get in the first place. Let them understand the repercussions that come with getting arrested for driving under the influence, alongside causing an accident. While we don’t advocate driving when drunk, he/she needs to understand legal alcohol limits, which are 0.00% for drivers under 21 years, and 0.08% for those over 21 years. Driving when drunk can also attract enhanced penalties, mainly if you had a passenger under 15 years in the car with you, among others. Let your teens understand all these before they can take the car for a spin.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving
Texting or calling someone on your phone while driving is a serious offense. Commonly known as distracted driving, this is one of the leading causes of accidents today. You thus want to educate your teen on the effects of texting, calling, or even checking social media while driving to keep them safe. With almost every teen owning a smartphone, it can be tempting to want to text or chat while driving. Let them understand that they can pull over at a safe spot and call or text whoever they want to, especially if it is urgent. The call or text might as well wait until you have arrived at your destination.
Driving in the company of other teens might also cause one to be distracted, hence not pay attention to the road. Peer pressure might/can also be to blame for this, a reason your son/daughter needs to learn how to overcome this, especially when behind the wheel. Driving around other rowdy teen drivers can also pose a serious threat too.
4. Driving At Night
There is a significant difference between driving during the day and at night. Driving at night poses many challenges, a reason one needs to be particularly careful. Thus, you have a responsibility to let your teen driver know about this and educate them some more about driving after dark. One of the factors that make driving after the dark challenging is the inability to see all around the vehicle. Most motorists are also relatively tired during this time, hence more susceptible to making grave mistakes. Even the most experienced drivers struggle a bit driving at night, which makes it even harder for someone who just acquired their license. He/she should thus avoid driving in the night if possible. The poor visibility might prove challenging when/if they attempt to drive, which is why caution is advised.
- Learn Safe Driving Techniques
Teen drivers are particularly reckless on the road. This explains why you’ll have to pay more for insuring your teen son’s car than your own. While a notoriously careless group, you can educate your kid on how to be a safe and keen driver. He/she should also practice the safe driving techniques taught at driving schools as well. The 3-second rule is fundamental when behind the wheel. You thus want to maintain a safe distance between you and the driver at the front. Allowing some distance between you and the other driver enables you to brake more effectively should they brake as well. You also want to keep more distance when the weather is unfavorable as well.
Other safe driving techniques include signaling when leaving or joining a lane and understanding what a flashing red light means. In addition to this, he/she needs to understand that a STOP sign doesn’t mean slow down, but instead come to a complete stop. Hand signals also play a crucial and important when driving as well.
It is worth noting that your kids will most definitely imitate what you do when behind the wheel. Thus, your teen driver can learn better if you take them for a ride with you behind the wheel. Let them watch your every move, signal, and approach to dead zones, which will help them remember much faster. It would be best if you also showed them how to handle various driving situations as they happen.
Take Advantage Of Phone Apps
Thanks to technology, you can monitor your son/daughter’s driving habits all from your phone. Some of these apps will send you alerts whenever he/she speeds and even restrict their ability to use their phones while driving. These apps will keep a log of everything that happens while he/she is on the road and will even tell you where they are. The fact that you can monitor their driving habits means you can educate and even sensitive them on the benefits of being a safe driver. There are plenty of such apps for Android and iOS devices, most of which are quite affordable yet very useful.