Did you know that teens are 3 times more likely to crash per mile driven than adults? And, that car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. These startling and alarming stats are important to keep in mind as your teen gets behind the wheel. Working together to prepare for this move toward independence is essential. Here are 10 things you should keep in mind as your teen gets out on the road.
- Make sure they are trained and practice, practice practice. Don’t skip out on the safe-driving courses.
- Safe Cars – shopping for a new car can be a big investment but you want them to be safe on the road. Make sure you check the Insurance institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks for crash test ratings. Check all safety features the car may have and get the most possible!
- Rules. You are the parent and you should feel completely comfortable implementing rules that your teen needs to follow. You know your teen best and the types of rules they need. Some examples may include: Not driving at night or being restricted on where they can go, no passengers or limited passengers.
- Costs. Set some rules or guidelines on what your teen will cover. Gas, insurance, maintenance. Make sure you have these discussions ahead of time.
- Zero tolerance. Have the tough conversations about drinking, using marijuana, or use of any other substances while driving. Tackle this head on and make sure they understand there is no room for this. According to the CDC youth age 12-20 consume 11% of all alcohol in the US.
- Phones off and out of reach. In order to promote good driving habits, unless your phone is being used as a GPS keep it away and out of arms reach. Don’t text, don’t talk. Be safe.
- Practice minimizing ALL distractions. This may include people or technology.
- Follow speed and traffic rules. Sounds like a no brainer but it deserves a conversation. Make sure that your teen is following speed limits as they are a major contributor to fatal teen accidents according to DMV.org.
- Seat belts. Every person. Always. Seatbelts on. No excuses.
- Create a parent-teen driving agreement. Download ours and go over it with your teen.
Preparing our teens for safe driving habits is a must. If your teen should find him or herself in an auto accident, make sure they have some information handy: What to do at the scene, what you should do if you are involved in a car accident and 7 things to do following a motor vehicle collision. Ed Harper at Harper Law can assist with compassionate help when needed.
Good luck, mom and dad. Your teen is about to embark on their next great milestone. We know you will prepare them well!