For every parent, one of their major concerns when gifting their teenager a car is safety. Unfortunately, crashes are the leading cause of death among teens. And one of the major contributors is driving while distracted. It is normal for a parent to be worried about the safety and health of their teenager, considering the many dangers one is exposed to on the road. Here are a few safe driving tips you can teach your teen to ease your mind a little.
There are many responsibilities that come with having a driving license which your teen needs to know about. For instance, they are responsible for other people on the road, including pedestrians and passengers if they carry any. Being reckless not only affects them but other people as well. You should also talk to them about accidents on the road and their effects. For instance, in cars involved in collision accidents, about one-third sustained damage from bumper override and underride. Override and underride were associated with significantly higher mean estimated damage claim amounts. Damage claims often raise the cost of insurance. Therefore, inform your teen even an accident that may seem to be insignificant can still have severe consequences.
Practice makes perfect, and when it comes to driving, the saying applies perfectly. When one has practiced for a long time, there is a reduced chance of having an accident. That is why you will often find insurance companies charging lower insurance premiums for someone with several years of driving experience. They know this is a person with a lot of practice on the road and hence fewer risks. When your kid goes through a driver’s education program, the time they spend practicing is often not enough. However, as a parent, take your child through training as often as possible. When you are running errands together, let them get behind the wheel and practice. Watch where they need practice and also ensure they practice on different types of roads and weather conditions.
Driving comes with many risks on the road. Do not sugarcoat this information and talk to your kids about the benefits of staying alert on the road. Your teen needs to understand that each time they are behind the wheel, they are putting lives in their hands, including theirs. Using accident statistics is often an excellent way to get them to listen. For instance, in 2019, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that 881 individuals lost their lives from a vehicular accident. There are also injuries resulting from car accidents, with an even bigger number. Therefore, as much as driving for a teenager is fun and exhilarating, it requires seriousness and concentration.
Children are impressionable. What they see, they are likely to repeat. Therefore, be a good example of what responsible driving entails. If you want them to keep off their phones as they drive, then keep yours away. If you want them to wear a safety belt when they get in the car, wear yours first. Naturally, your teen will follow your lead. If you come home one day drunk and you were driving, one day your teen might also try that, and they might not be so lucky. Therefore, be an example to them of what responsible driving looks like.
Your kids should learn about basic car functions like windshield wipers, lights, and blinkers. Also, teach them about driving while paying attention to reckless drivers and debris on the road. Do not forget to mention how they can keep the car keys safe. Most people often lose their keys or lock them in the car. In the US, in a day, there are about 16,000 car and home lockouts. This can be a considerable inconvenience to teens, especially if they lock themselves out late at night.
As much as driving ought to be a fun experience, things can turn ugly pretty fast. Therefore, it is vital to inform your teens of the dangers of reckless driving even as you hand them the keys to their first car.
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