While getting a license can be an exciting time for teenagers, it can understandably be a nerve-racking time for parents. Teenage drivers lack the judgement skills that come from being an experienced driver. In fact, lack of experience is the leading cause of crash rates among teens. Inexperience affects their ability to react quickly in dangerous situations. In addition, teenagers often engage in dangerous activities such as speeding, racing, tailgating, and texting. Also, they often fail to use their seat belts.
As a parent, you can help your teen reduce the risk of an accident
- Chose a safe car
Deciding on the right car for your teenager is important not only in the event of an accident, but also to help reduce them from creating bad habits. For example, small cars that are high in performance can increase the odds of your teenager being tempted to speed, race, or tailgate. While trucks and SUVs are more prone to roll overs if a driver over-reacts to avoid an accident.
- Set driving limits
In the state of Florida, there is a graduated driver program that is enforced by the state. This means that new drivers have driving restrictions during the first year of their license. This allows them to gained experience and driving skills before being exposed to certain driving conditions. For example, these new drivers are restricted from certain activities such as late-night driving. As a parent, you can take an active role in reducing your teenager’s exposure. As they build experience, you can gradually introduce new privileges. Setting driving hours is important, but so is setting driving boundaries. As new drivers, it is important that they are only driving in familiar places.
- Discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol use
It is important to talk to your teenager about the dangers of drinking or using drugs and driving. Let them know, they should never get in a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs. Encourage your teenager to call you if they are ever in a situation where they need a safe ride home.
- Help them understand the dangers of distracted driving
Advise your teen how important it is to avoid being distracted while driving. Distractions can include, talking to friends in the car; texting; or listening to the radio. New drivers should gain at least six months of experience before having passengers in their car.
- Be a good role model
Kids learn by example, so it is important no to drive recklessly or text while driving. Always remember to wear your seatbelt and never drink and drive.
- Enroll them in a driver education course
A driver education course will help teach them the rules of the road and give them practice behind the wheel. This will help them know what to do to avoid an accident.
- Use tools to monitor their driving
There are so many great tools available to make sure your teen is driving safe. GPS systems and video cameras can help you monitor how your teen is driving when you are not around. There are also several great apps that let you monitor their speed, hard braking, and rapid acceleration. Apps can also alert you when they leave places like school, work, or home. One great app that does all this is Life360.
Next steps: Is you teenager ready to drive? Contact Elite Insurance Solutions for a quote.