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Teen Driver Safety

If you have a new teen driver or are anticipating your teen to be driving in the near future, you likely have a lot of anxieties and concerns when they get behind the wheel of the car. Even though they’ll complete their driving hours and drivers’ education courses, you never know what could happen when they leave.Stay calmLearning to drive is a fun and thrilling milestone in a teenagers’ life. They finally get a sense of freedom and autonomy to go and do things without relying on mom and dad for a ride.When teaching your children to drive, stay calm. Your child will be nervous. They’re learning. They need to get a feel for how the car operates and drives. If your child makes a mistake, and trust that they will, don’t be harsh or make them feel bad. If your panicked energy transfers to them, they may be more prone to making mistakes and won’t think clearly. Instead, keep your cool and encourage them to talk through what they’re thinking, observing and what they’re going to do. Encourage questions if they are unsure about the situation and offer calm and constructive feedback.

Start with the foundations

Help your child build up their skills with small and simple lessons. Your first lesson might be just getting them acquainted with the dash controls and steering wheel. The second might be driving in an empty parking lot. Slowly let them build their confidence and then you can work with them up to neighborhood, city, and highway roadways. With each advancement, they’ll become familiar with road signs, experience different on-road situations, work on their defensive driving, parking and more.

Teach car maintenance and insurance

Cars are an investment. A well taken care of car can last for years. Teach your teens how to change a tire, how to fill up gas, check fluid levels, tire pressure, etc. Walk them through a roadside kit and what to do if they have an emergency and need to stop.

Most importantly, you must have insurance to drive. It is there to help cover costs of vehicle damage and medical bills in the event of an accident. Review your insurance policy with your teen so they understand how it works and what they’ll need to do in case of an accident.

Discourage distractions

Now all drivers should avoid distractions, but being a teen and new driver, the distractions are everywhere. From passengers to music to cell phones, the noise can become an issue. One of the best ways to avoid distractions is setting the example for your teen. If you practice what you preach, they’ll see you following through on your word, and might be more likely to listen to your actions. You can also encourage your teen to use technology safety features like “do not disturb” to avoid them being on their phone while driving.

Set boundaries and rules

As the parent you have the responsibility to help your kids learn and develop their skills. Set expectations, rules, and specific penalties if your teen is being irresponsible when driving. Teaching them to be accountable and responsible while driving will help keep themselves and others safe. Examples of penalties could be having them pay their insurance premium or rate increases for a driving infraction, losing driving privileges for a period of time, curfew, etc.

Driving is a great responsibility. There are great benefits, but also great dangers. Help your teen drivers understand the hazards of the roadway by staying calm and levelheaded. Kids are observant. They’ll scrutinize your every move. So set the example you want them to follow. If you have questions regarding an accident, give us a call today.