Blue Suit Mom

Tips for Raising Teen to be Safe Drivers

shutterstock_158929343Getting a driver’s license is one of the most important moment’s in your teen’s life, but it is not without its risks. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that 16 year-old drivers are 1.8 times more likely to receive a citation than other drivers, and drivers between 16 and 19 are more than twice as likely. Teaching your teen to be a responsible driver is one of the first steps toward insuring he or she is safe and confident on the road. Here are just a few ways you can help:

Prepare Them

To ensure teens are safe behind the wheel, encourage practice. The most dangerous aspect new drivers face is their own inexperience. Be an active part of their skill-building; take them driving on calm days, then work up to driving at night and in the rain or other adverse weather conditions. The Road Weather Management Program Office of Operations reports that of the 5 million vehicle crashes every year, nearly 1.3 million are weather related.

Teens should study extensively before their driving tests to prepare. Most habits that will insure their safety are formed before testing for a license. Online courses can help teens prepare for their driving tests and guarantee they understands safe driving techniques.

Set Ground Rules

Setting ground rules for your newly-licensed teen will probably cause some small friction with them initially, but will help you feel confident your teen is behaving appropriately on the road. Some rules every parent should consider setting for their teen are:

  • Driving under the influence of any drug or alcohol is forbidden. The CDC reports 25 percent of fatal accidents involving male drivers between 15 and 20 involve drinking. No matter what your feelings are on your teen drinking, make sure they understand you want them home safely, no matter what, and they should never drive drunk or get in a car with a drunk driver.
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times, including all passengers.
  • Texting or talking on the phone while driving is not allowed, and headphones or other distracting devices are also forbidden.
  • If your teen is on a motorcycle, he or she should always wear a helmet, regardless of whether local laws require one or not.
  • Driving is a privilege, not a right, and it can be taken away if they are not responsible.

By setting rules for your teen, you are showing that you not only have expectations of them and their behavior while driving, but that you are a long-term part of their transition into adulthood. Driving is just the first of many responsibilities that ease your teen into the adult world, and if they understand this they will want to be safe and responsible drivers. While it might be nerve-wracking at first, if you follow these steps your teen will be driving safely in no time.

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