One of the most stressful and worrisome moments for a parent is also the most freeing and jubilant for their child. It is when your young son or daughter first get their driver’s license. The fact is, teen drivers are at a very high risk to be involved in an accident and parents who are aware of the dangers that exist and are diligent about speaking with and even instilling some rules surrounding their teen’s driving habits can help greatly lessen these risks.
Let’s look at some of the dangers that exist with teen drivers and how parents can help to lessen the risks:
- Speed-Few things feel as free as the moment you climb into a car and take your first drive by yourself. With no one around (i.e. PARENTS) the tendency to speed and drive reckless can be great. Speeding and reckless driving can put any driver at a huge risk to have an accident and here are a few tips that parents can implement to help curb such behavior:
- Install a speed monitor in the car. This will sound an alarm if the car goes above a certain speed limit
- Install a driving tracking system in the car which will allow one to see the exact speeds the car was travelling during a route
- Put extreme penalties or restrictions on your child if they receive a speeding ticket (losing car privileges, making them pay the fine, etc.)
- Drinking and driving-Few things are as worrisome to a parent of a young drive as drinking and driving. Many of these types of accidents result in heavy fines, jail time, injury or even death. Parents can help to curb this behavior or eliminate and here are a few steps that can take:
- Install a breathalyzer inside the vehicle that will prevent it from starting if the drive has had ANYTHING to drink.
- Have your young driver sign a written pledge to NEVER drink and drive (some even include never drinking before they turn 21) May sound silly to some, but by physically signing the pledge, many sons and daughters will want to honor this to respect their parents.
- Distracted driving-Cell phones, car sound systems, eating hamburgers…distracted driving is a MAJOR cause of accidents for teen drivers. The biggest culprit, of course, is cell phone use, either talking or texting. Here are a few things parents can do to limit cell use during driving:
- The console rule-the phone is to be placed in the console while driving and not taken out until they have reached their destination
- Monitoring phone usage-parents can look at their child’s phone activity such as called made, calls received and text messages DURING the time the child was driving
Driving is scary and dangerous, for both teens AND adults. But, if parents follow the tips above, they can greatly reduce the dangers posed to their young drivers and help to keep them safe as they navigate the roadways throughout the first few years driving, and even into adulthood.