Aug 29, 2018
Remember the day you received your driver's license? The freedom that came along with that little rectangular card was thrilling! It was so exciting that you almost forgot about the immense responsibility that comes along with being a licensed driver. It's certainly no different for today's teens.
With the school year just starting, it's hard not to reminisce about the days back when we were teens. However, the world is changing... smartphones are in the hands of almost every driver and distractions are endless. Parents play an important role in getting teens off to a good start. Below are some tips we've put together to help you keep your teen driver safe on the road.
Let us know if you have a new driver in your household, I would be happy to schedule an appointment to sit down with your family to discuss driver safety.
PARENTS HOLD THE KEYS TO SAFE TEEN DRIVING
Be hands on. Don’t just rely on Driver's Ed. Be involved in your teen’s learning. During ride-alongs with your teen, ask them to describe the decisions being made during the drive. This will help you understand his or her thought processes. Give feedback based on both what you’re hearing and on the driving. Similarly, when you’re driving, let your teen know why you make certain choices on the road in the interest of safety.
Restrict night driving. Most young drivers’ nighttime fatal crashes occur between 9 pm and midnight, so teenagers shouldn’t be driving much later than 9. The problem isn’t just that such driving requires more skill behind the wheel. Late outings tend to be recreational, and even teens who usually follow the rules can be easily distracted or encouraged to take risks.
Restrict passengers. Teenage passengers riding in a vehicle with a beginning driver can distract the driver and/or lead to greater risk-taking. About 6 of every 10 deaths of teenage passengers occur in crashes with teen drivers. While driving at night with passengers is particularly dangerous, many of the fatal crashes involving teen passengers occur during the day. The best policy is to restrict teenage passengers, especially multiple teens, all the time.
Supervise practice driving. Take an active role in helping your teenager learn to drive. Plan a series of practice sessions that include a wide variety of situations, including night driving. Give beginners time to work up to challenges like driving in heavy traffic or on the freeway. Continue to supervise your teenager's driving after graduation from a learner’s permit to a restricted or full license. Remember that you’re a role model. New drivers learn a lot by example, so practice safe driving yourself. Teenagers who have crashes and violations often have parents with poor driving records.
Require safety belt use. Don’t assume that belt use when you’re in the car with your 16-year-old means a safety belt will be used when your child is driving alone or out with peers. Insist on using safety belts all the time.
Prohibit driving after drinking alcohol. Make it clear to your child that it’s illegal and highly dangerous to drive after drinking alcohol or using any other drug. While alcohol isn’t a factor in most of the fatal crashes that involve 16-year-old drivers, even small amounts of alcohol are impairing for teenagers.
Choose vehicles with safety, not image, in mind. Teens should drive vehicles that reduce their chances of crashing in the first place, and offer protection from injury in case they do crash. For example, small cars don’t offer the best occupant protection in case of a collision. Avoid vehicles with performance images that might encourage a teenager to speed. The best vehicle choice for your teenager, and for everyone else in your family, is one that’s equipped with the latest safety technology, including side airbags that protect people’s heads and electronic stability control.
Contact your Ryan Advisor today if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with your teen.
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