Teenagers can do plenty of things to worry their parents, including getting behind the wheel as a new driver. In fact, statistics show that about half of teenagers will be involved in a road traffic accident before they graduate high school. But the good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do as a parent to make sure your child isn’t one of them. These safe teen driving tips are a good start.
As you read the nine tips, bear in mind that it takes time, patience, and good communication to ensure your teen is safe behind the wheel. But the effort is definitely worth it.
1. Get a Good Insurance Policy
Nowadays, insurance providers are more teen-friendly than ever, with several insurance policies available to help your teen get comfortable being behind the wheel. For example, telematics are becoming more popular with young drivers worldwide. Also known as ‘black box’ insurance, these devices are fit to the car to track driving styles, enabling your teen to save money when they drive carefully and safely.
This approach is great for new young drivers it helps motivate them to drive as safely as they can to take advantage of the financial savings. In addition, they can be very handy for parents who may be able to get access to an app that they can use to find the location of their teen if needed. Read more about choosing the best car insurance policy here.
Safe Teen Driving Tips #2. Understand the Risk Factors
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death and serious injury for teens. Speed is a major risk factor and was involved in more than half of fatal vehicle accidents involving young Canadian drivers between 2012 and 2016.
Several studies have shown that the risk of being involved in a crash is even higher during the first few months of having their driver’s license. However, everybody has to start somewhere, so it’s important to make sure that your teen safe teen driving tips at their disposal to get used to the road.
3. Help Them Practice
Next on the list of safe teen driving tips is to go out with them and letting them practice with you in the car. Aim to spend around 30 to 50 hours in the car with them over a 6-month period.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to mix up the routine. For example, drive at different times of the day in a range of different traffic conditions. Doing so will help your teen get used to driving under every different potential circumstance. In turn, they will drive more confidently and safely when they’re finally ready to go out in the car alone.
4. Teach Defensive Driving
When helping your teen with their driving, it’s a good idea to emphasize the importance of defensive driving. What defensive driving means is staying at a safe distance from the car in front and always being aware of what is going on in front, behind, and to either side of your vehicle.
In addition, it’s wise to always expect the unexpected when behind the wheel of a vehicle. Anything could happen, from big trucks swinging into your lane to animals running out unexpectedly across the road.
5. Invest in Professional Driver Training
While it can certainly help to take your teen out to practice driving with you, professional driver training is a worthwhile investment. Learning anything new and becoming good at it takes time and practice.
Usually, you can expect better results under the careful watch of a trained professional. In addition, your teen may not be able to take their driving test and get their license without first having some professional training. Whether that’s the case depends on driver requirements where you live. But an investment in safe teen driving like professional driving lessons is absolutely worth it to give your kid the best start on the road.
6. Be a Good Role Model
When your teen is in the vehicle with you, set a good example to them with your own actions. Model distraction-free driving; avoid eating, drinking, or doing anything else that diverts your attention from the road.
Reining in your own bad habits when driving is important as it stops you from inadvertently passing any of them onto your teenager. They can pick up things easily, after all, including things you don’t want them to like any unsafe driving practices.
7. Insist on Always Wearing a Seat Belt
Hopefully, your teen is so used to wearing a seat belt that putting it on comes naturally to them when driving themselves. Still, it’s always worth it to repeat the importance of wearing a seat belt to them. Safe teen driving involves taking the initiative and putting on the seat belt to prevent unnecessarily injuring themselves, or worse. Plus, it’s easy to buckle up! Make sure you put on your seat belt to set a good example and consistently remind your teen of the importance of them doing so too.
8. Be Careful When Allowing Passengers
Having other people in the car can quickly become a distraction from the road. In fact, the crash risk for teens increases significantly when friends are in the car with them. Although your teen likely wants to drive their buddies around, put that off until they have more experience behind the wheel. Reducing the risks of distracting diver is one of our top safe teen driving tips.
9. Always Insist on Legal Driving
This one likely goes without saying. But it’s in your best interests as a parent to constantly reinforce the need to always drive legally. This means never drinking and driving. Let them know you’d rather they call you for pickup rather than risk taking the wheel after a few drinks. Even if it is late at night.
Also, reinforce the no texting rule when behind the wheel. Sending and reading texts can be a massive distraction from the road. In fact, any checking of the smartphone while driving is not a good idea. A hands-free kit for your teen might be a good idea. It lets them safely use their phone when driving if absolutely necessary.
Safe Teen Driving Tips: Have Your Say
Have you got a teen who is about to get behind the wheel? How did you prepare? Let us know any other safe teen driving tips you have used or heard about recently. See you in the comments section!
Top photo via Pixabay.
14 thoughts on “Safe Teen Driving: 9 Tips for Parents”
It’s just for teens, Christy .Adult new drivers aren’t required to take classes, just pass their tests. And thank you ; it’s been hectic but great! Hugs
Thanks for clarifying that for me, Amy! And good to hear about your holiday going well :) OMG hectic I hear you and Christmas is almost here ~ can you believe it?!
In Ohio, teens either have to be at least sixteen and go through an accredited driving school, or wait until they’re are eighteen to get their licenses. Of course that law does not prevent all road-related accidents, but every little bit helps.
Hi Amy, that’s good to know about the professional driving certification in Ohio. Is that just for teens or for new drivers in general? I was just saying to another commenter here that there’s no such thing as too safe! I hope your Thanksgiving has been wonderful xo
Great, important post. Thanks for sharing this message
And I appreciate your positive comments here. I hope you’ve had a beautiful Thanksgiving :)
Please please don’t use your phone when driving
Got that right, Pete!
Thank you, Christy, for sharing these excellent recommendations for how parents should handle teenage drivers. As a result of traffic fatalities,Colorado has implemented restrictions that incorporate some of the recommendations above, including limiting the number of passengers a teenager can transport and 50 hours of logged hours (10 hours at night) over a period of 12 months behind the wheel with a licensed adult.
I think those updates on driving laws for new drivers in Colorado are fantastic, Linnea! There’s no such things as “too safe”… And it’s lovely to see you here, as always.
I just remembered a funny sticker near the back license plate of a car “the closer you come, slower I drive.” That is reinforcing defensive driving 😀 Your posts are so helpful in raising the awareness.
Haha that sticker on the car will absolutely help other motorists remember to stay a safe distance back! I like when education and humor go together well like that ;)