When your teenager finally gets behind the wheel, it can be one of the most nerve wracking experiences you’ll have as a parent. Teens are excited, but parents are worried about how their kids will handle this big responsibility. According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. Instilling good driving habits is crucial. Here are 4 essential safety tips for when your teen starts driving:
Devices are off limits
Smart phones and other tech devices pose a serious hazard for drivers. Distracted driving can lead to accidents, injuries, and worse, so it is crucial that parents impress this upon their teens. Once you get behind the wheel, all devices should be completely off limits until the car is safely stopped and parked. Teens are tempted to text, check their messages, and do any number of other activities on their cell phones, much like adults who should know better. Parents must also model good behavior by opting for a hands free connection while driving.
In addition to smart phones, music and passengers can present distractions for teen drivers. Set a rule about the number of passengers that your teen can have in the car with them at any time. Encourage them to play a cd, rather than to tune in to the radio, which can cause them to fumble with buttons to change the station. Their main focus should be on the roadway, the conditions, and the other drivers around them. Distractions from within the car can easily cause an unnecessary accident.
Strictly enforce the speed limit
Many teens are tempted to speed. The thrill of finally being out on the open road and in control of their destination can tempt teens to exceed the speed limit. One of the best ways for parents to keep tabs is by setting up the speed limit alerts on their child’s smart phone. With the tracking app, you will be notified when your teen exceeds the speed limit. This allows you to see just how responsible your driver is, and to enforce the rules when necessary.
Seat belts must be worn
It should go without saying, but seat belts are an absolute must today. Not only is it the law that seat belts are worn, but it’s simply the best way to stay safe in the event of an accident. Seat belts save lives, and for teens that tend to believe that they’re immortal, it’s crucial that they understand the importance. Making sure that kids are buckled up is something that parents should do from the time they’re very young. Be a role model by always buckling up before starting the ignition and heading out on the road.
Driving for the first time without an adult passenger is very exciting for teenagers, but very tense for parents. Make sure that your teen is ready to hit the road safely by enforcing these essential safety tips.
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