Parenting is not for the faint of heart! Although parenting certainly includes rewarding moments, tough lessons are just as common. When it comes to your teen driver, there are some road safety tips that will help keep them safe on the roads. Here are three ways you can keep your teen safe behind the wheel.
Let Your Teen Drive with You Using a Seat Belt
Many teens believe that the laws only apply to them, and not their parents. This will certainly out your teen as a liar if pulled over by law enforcement! It may be unwise to let your kids drive solo until they are confident drivers. An added bonus: this is great quality time spent together.
When your teen is ready to drive solo, have them buckle up – whether they are getting behind the wheel or riding along as a passenger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seatbelt can reduce their risk of death in a car crash by 50%.
Discuss Safety Habits
With the great responsibility that comes with driving, it is important your teen be aware of their safety habits. As a parent, ask them to discuss their plans for the day and what they will need before leaving home – it might be as simple as grabbing their cell phone off the charger or grabbing food if they are on the road all day.
Be particularly mindful of what habits they have that may put them at higher risk. For example, if their friends regularly text and drive – speak to your teen about how it isn’t a good idea for them either.
Have a Plan in Case Your Teen Gets Pulled Over
It is important to teach teens why safety should be first when pulling someone over. Putting themselves and others at risk is not worth a simple traffic violation. When your teen practices good safety habits as a driver, they set the foundation for their future – and help keep everyone else on the road safe too.
Although many of these topics may be uncomfortable for you to broach with your teen, it is far better than dealing with the consequences of bad choices on the road.
Set Rules and Guidelines for Teen Drivers
In order to protect teen drivers from potential dangers, parents should establish rules and guidelines that they must follow as a driver. These rules set limitations as well as encourage responsibility with the privilege of driving.
The first thing you want to do is sit down with your teen and clearly lay out the rules and consequences of breaking those rules. Be sure to also discuss the consequences you will face if your teen breaks the rules (such as losing their license). You should also make sure you are both 100 percent clear on what constitutes certain actions. For example, if your teen is caught drinking and driving – do you want them to lose their license for one year? Forever?
Next, establish consequences that go along with each rule. Prioritize the consequences by importance, and have a variety of consequences available for different rules. For example, let’s say your teen breaks a rule about curfew – you may restrict their driving privileges if they are caught breaking curfew again.
And finally, make sure you set time limits on all of your teen’s privileges so that they are earned back. In the curfew example, you may allow your teen to drive after two weeks of following all rules and guidelines.
Remember that teens don’t always make the best choices – which is why it’s important for parents to monitor their driving habits! By establishing rules and consequences, as well as a good rapport with your son or daughter, you can keep them safe on the road – and out of trouble.
Use a Teen Driver Tracking App
Easily monitor your teen’s whereabouts with the click of a button. With GPS technology it is now possible for parents to track their teen driver’s position, speed, and route in real-time. This type of Internet-based app provides parents with the tools they need to be effective at monitoring their teenage drivers.
Tracking apps are made specifically for teenagers and young adults. Though the cost of such applications varies, there is one that offers a limited free trial period to ensure you and your teen are satisfied with it before continuing with a monthly subscription fee.
Knowing where your teen is and where they have been providing parents peace of mind for their child’s safety. With the ability to monitor speed and location, you can be sure your teen is practicing good driving habits.
In conclusion, there are several ways parents can keep their teen drivers safe on the road. Some of these tips include making sure your teen wears a seat belt, having an open discussion with them, and being aware of bad driving habits they may have.