Teen drivers are involved in more car accidents than any other age group. This is for many reasons. They are younger and more fearless. They are less experienced. They do not always realize what could go wrong. They are testing boundaries. In all situations, it is up to the parents to lay down some teen driver rules and stick with them. For most parents, putting your car keys in the hands of your teen is worrisome. Yet, you do not have to be overcome with worry each time that you watch them head out.
Education Is The Key
The more experienced and confident your teen driver is, the less likely they will be to be involved in any sort of accident. Often times, teen drivers will need extra practice that goes beyond what the state requires. This is especially true of drivers who have little experience driving with parents prior to getting their driver’s test. Take the time to take them out with you in the car and allow them to make mistakes. Mistakes are often the best way to learn, especially when they know you are in the car to back them up.
• Be sure your child has had experience on all larger streets in your area.
• Give your child the opportunity to get on and off the highway. Should they need to use it, the rules are different and the driving is faster, they need more experience.
• Ask them questions about driving. Do they know the laws?
• Follow your own guidelines when driving. If you do not want your teen to speed, then do not speed either. This will set an example for them and will encourage them to follow your lead.
• Keep giving them practice. It will take time for your child to get confident in his or her skills.
Education is the most important element when it comes to being safe on the road, but that is not all that you will need to do.
Setting The Road Rules
As a parent, you set guidelines for your child in your home. They know what to do and what not to do. It is important to set guidelines outside the home too, especially when it comes to teen driving. Here are some rules to take into consideration.
• Set times when they can and cannot drive; inexperienced drivers may need more practice at night, for example, before you will allow them to drive then.
• Set the rules for having friends in their car. Studies show that when there are two or more teens in the vehicle, they are more likely to be involved in car accidents or to get moving violations.
• Limit the places they can go, within reason. At first, you may only be allowing them to drive to and from school and work. Later, after they have had more practice, you may decide to increase this limit.
When you do set rules for your child to use during driving, be sure you explain why you have rules. For example, if you will be limiting when they can drive, let them know that you want to be sure they are capable of driving at night before you allow them to do so. Set limits and give guidance, as teen drivers; the elements they need to have. Instruct and guide them on these. Nevertheless, driving is one of the big freedoms as a teenager. Giving them the ability to impress you and to follow your guidelines is also important.
Often, parents who do not trust their teen drivers, and those who follow up on them are most likely to find themselves facing trouble. On the other hand, those parents that hand over the keys without limitations and guidelines in place are also likely to be putting their child at risk. Stay involved with your child during their teen years. Let them know that you expect them to be safe drivers and follow up on the guidelines that you set for them. Not only does this help to keep them safe, but it lets you know that they are doing a good job, too.