Having a young driver is a milestone for both you and your teenager, but it’s also a stressful time for everyone. You know the risks your kids face behind the wheel, but eventually they have to learn to drive. You can help your teen become a better driver before and after they get their license. Here’s what you need to know.
Give Them Plenty of Practice
Studies show that teens who get at least 110 hours of supervised driving practice before they get their license drastically reduce their chance of getting into an accident. In that time, they’ve gained experience through practice. This will help them in the long run as they face the very real perils of driving without you.
Limits the Friends in Their Car
When teens get together, they don’t always focus on the task at hand. This is especially true and even more hazardous when your teen is driving. The more teenagers that are in the vehicle, the higher likelihood of an accident because of distraction and not paying attention to the road ahead. Create a rule that your teen needs to limit how many people are in the car with them.
Talk About Distracted Driving
Everyone is at risk of distracted driving, but teenagers even more so. The biggest culprit is their smartphone so talk about not texting, talking, messaging, or going on social media while they drive. But you also need to discuss other forms of distracted driving that they might not consider: grooming, eating, singing, and reaching for objects are just a few examples. If they do have friends in the car, they need to be aware of the dangers of being distracted.
Make It Easy for Them to Get a Ride From You
No one wants to believe that our teens (or their friends) might drink and drive, but it happens much too often. Let your child know that if they or their friends have been drinking, they can call you to come pick them up. They shouldn’t drive after they have a drink or get into a car with someone who’s been drinking. But if they think they’ll get into trouble by calling you, they’re more likely to take the risk.
Model Good Driving Habits
From the time they’re small and definitely once they start driving, model good behavior for your children. Don’t drive aggressively or break traffic laws. Put your own phone down and avoid distractions while you drive. Talk to your kids about how they can stay safe while they drive and the precautions you take to avoid accidents. They’re paying more attention than you realize. Yes, even when they become teenagers. If you drive dangerously, they’ll believe they can, too.
Teach Good Driving Behavior
When you talk to your teens about being good drivers, talk about the things they can do to keep themselves safe.
- Remind them to focus on the cars around them and the road.
- Tell them to take their time. They shouldn’t speed or cut in and out of traffic.
- Caution them to use their turn signals and to avoid unnecessary lane changes.
- Encourage them to drive at less busy times of the day. Rush hour in the morning and evening can be potentially dangerous for inexperienced drivers.
- Make a rule that seat belts are mandatory, including for you.
Protect your teens by instilling good driving habits and behaviors. Keep them protected with enough auto insurance coverage. Despite your best efforts, accidents will still happen, but they don’t have to be financially devastating. Contact Charlotte Insurance to make sure you have the best auto insurance you can afford and protect your entire family.