Teenagers long for the day they get their driver's license. It is a step towards freedom, but with that freedom brings a lot of worry for parents. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-18-year olds across the nation. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your teen is ready for driving when the time comes.
- In addition to driver's education, it is important for parents to drive with their children when they earn their learner's permit. Parents can contribute to their teen learning the various laws of the road. Sometimes, a driver's education program does not teach everything they need to know. Focus on teaching them what all traffic signs and signals mean.
- Set the standard for your children. For their entire lives, they have watched you drive. How you drive and what you do while you drive can rub off on your teen. Remember to practice good driving behavior, such as not texting while driving, following speed limits, wearing your seat belt, etc.
- Discuss the statistics surrounding texting and driving in depth. One in three teens say they text while driving. Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23 times. Explain to your teen that distracted driving is not worth crashing and putting your life or someone else's in danger. For more information on this topic, visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving
- Talk to your teen about the dangers of driving under the influence. It is widely known that drinking under the age of 21 is illegal and driving drunk is illegal for all ages. High school and teenage life can be a trying time and there is so much peer pressure that many teens go against their better judgment in order to "fit in." Teach them that they should never put their life or someone else's life at risk by drinking and driving or riding with someone that has been drinking.
- Discuss the importance of wearing seat belts. Seat belt usage is the lowest in teen drivers. Seat belt use can truly save someone in the event of an accident. Teens may think that not wearing seat belts is "cool", so as parents it is extremely vital to remind them that not only does it keep them safe, but it is also the law. Read more on the power of a seat belt on our post, here.