If you’re a parent, then you either have a teen driver or soon will. Parenting is stressful enough without having to worry about your teen getting behind the wheel.
Once your teen turns fifteen the driving ritual begins. First comes his or her learning permit, then the drivers licence that gives your teen permission to be in a 2000 pound machine without supervision.
Before your teen hits the road, you as their parent need to set ground rules. Teen driving and teen drivers have changed in the last few years. There are more distractions and more teen related accidents.
No only are radios and other teens distracting, but with today’s technology cellphone use has become the number one cause of teen distraction while driving.
As a parent, your responsibility lies with what you teach your teen about safe driving. Teens gravitate toward certain things when driving to impress their peers, but be firm about the ground rules you set.
Talk to your teen about S.A.F.E. driving:
- Slow down. Speed kills and your teen needs to be aware of the dangers of fast cars and speeding. If your teen has a lead foot, don’t hesitate to take away the keys.
- Avoid distractions. Teens are distracted by the radio and their friends. Teach your teen to keep the radio turned off and if possible don’t drive with their friends in the car.
- Forgot texting. Texting and driving kills. Teens think it’s cool to text, but it’s not. Whatever needs to be said can wait. One text is not worth one life.
- Eating is a no-no. Eating and driving is a big distraction. Teens don’t need to eat and drive. Their coordination isn’t sharp and any minor distraction can become a big disaster.
Driving is a privilege and before you let you teen behind the wheel of a huge responsibility, make sure he or she knows the ground rules. If your teen can’t abide by your rules, then take away their driving privileges.
Teen driving is not mandatory. It’s something that should be earned, not given as a rite of passage. Remember, these are your sixteen year old’s out on the open road with seasoned drivers.