The day your teenager gets their driving licence is a roller coaster of emotions. They’re excited, and perhaps a little nervous, and you’re proud but absolutely terrified. Watching your child get behind the wheel of a car for the very first time is a wonderful experience, but it’s one that reminds you just how dangerous cars can be. After all, car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens. Because of this, it’s absolutely vital that your child knows what they’re doing. Here are some tips to ensure that your teen stays safe on the road.
Let A Professional Teach Them
You teach your children a lot as they grow up. You show them how to write their name, tie their shoes, ride a bike, and so much more. Because of this, it’s only natural that you would want to be the one to teach your kid how to drive. That being said, you want your teen to be the safest driver possible, so it’s a much more sensible idea to find them a driving instructor. This way, they get all the right information and training, and you won’t have to argue when they’re not listening.
Demonstrate Good Driving Behaviour
Although it’s better to let a professional teach your teen how to drive, you should still make a point of demonstrating good driving behaviour. Children mimic their parents from a very young age, so, if you’re seen speeding or texting while driving, then you’re kids might think that’s okay to do. You need to sit your teen down and explain to them what they need to do to stay a safe driver. Once you’ve done this, you have to take your own advice and be a good role model.
Set Realistic Expectations And Consequences
No matter what your teen thinks, driving is not a birthright; It’s a privilege and a huge responsibility and should be treated as such. With that in mind, it’s important that you set some realistic expectations, boundaries, and rules for your child, and explain to them that, if they break any of these rules, you’ll take their car keys away. You might even want to write these rules up in a contract for your kid to sign so that there’s no confusion about what you expect.
Keep Distractions To A Minimum
Getting distracted while driving is an incredibly easy, and dangerous, thing to do. Because of this, you should help your teenager eliminate as many distractions as they can while driving. For example, you could ask that they keep their phone on silent and in the glove compartment and turn their music on a low volume, especially when they’re in traffic. You might also want to ask that they don’t drive their friends around until they have a little more experience.
Explain How To Handle Accidents
Unfortunately, even if your child is as safe as they can be, there’s still a chance that they could get into an accident. Because of this, it’s vital that you explain to them what they should do if this ever happened. You can help them deal with the insurance and car accident attorney, but they need to know the steps to take moments after the accident occurred. For example, they’d need to move somewhere safe, call the police, document the scene, and gather information.
Take Care Of The Car
It’s incredibly difficult to be a safe driver when your car isn’t reliable. This means that you need to ensure that your teen has a relatively safe model, which has good tires, airbags, and is easy to maneuver. You should also make sure that they take proper care of it, by showing them the owner’s manual and teaching them about preventative maintenance. If the car ever needs a repair, you should see to it that your teenager sorts it right away, so they don’t put anyone at risk.
Make Sure They Practice
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re a nervous driver, which is why you need to make sure that your teenager practices as much as they possibly can. This will build their confidence, and ensure they’re not apprehensive on the road. Make sure that you accompany your child and have them drive places that you normally would, such as the supermarket. You should also try a number of different scenarios, settings, and weathers so that they’re prepared for anything.
Every parent gets nervous at the thought of their teen behind the wheel, but, hopefully, if you follow the advice above, you can put your mind at ease.