After months of attending driving school, your child finally got his driver’s license, and of course you couldn’t be happier for his achievement! He’s now a licensed driver so you can guarantee that he knows what he’s doing when he’s on the road. But on the other side of the coin, as a parent, you’re still worried about your teen’s safety whenever he’s behind the wheel. With the news talking about teenagers being involved in numerous car accidents, you can’t help but think, “aside from the lessons taught in driving school, is there any chance I could teach my teen to drive safely to avoid, car accidents?” The answer to your question is obvious – it’s a clear, resounding yes.
Teaching your teens to drive safely to avoid car accidents might sound simple, but in actuality, it’s not. Teens tend to do what they think is right regardless of the people telling them how wrong it is – and being you, as a parent, is no exception. But all is not lost as there are still some ways for you to teach your teens to drive safely to avoid car accidents. You can start by doing these:
Teach your teens to turn off the phone and put it in somewhere else:
This is a no-brainer. Phones or any handheld gadgets for that matter can serve as a distraction while your child is driving. Teach your child that texting and even accepting calls when he’s driving can be hazardous. Let your child understand that regardless of how important these calls and texts are, his safety should still be his priority at all times. He can always pull at the side of the road when he’s planning to respond to any calls and texts. As long as he’s not doing everything at once, he’s good.
Teach your teens to respect the speed limit:
Although zooming around an area can sound like a real macho thing to do, discourage your child from doing this. Speed limits are there for a reason, and if your child is not following any of these, he’s putting his safety and life on the line. As a parent, you should be able to inject this fact into his mind. Teach him why speed limits are placed in specific areas on the road and what could be the possible risks involved when he’s going beyond the speed limit.
Teach your teens about zero alcohol tolerance:
When your child is in his teenage years, he has greater chances of drinking out with friends since this is basically the time of their lives when they feel free to do just about anything. But to ensure their safety behind the wheel, you don’t have to prohibit them from drinking strictly. You just have to teach them that when they’re drunk, even with a single bottle or glass of alcohol, they should never drive. If they’re concerned of going home late at night, have a friend drive for them.
Teach your teens to use seatbelts all the time:
Some teens would prefer not to a wear seatbelt because this can get in the way of their driving, and your teens can be one of them. But as a parent, you should change their perception of right, and you should be able to encourage them to wear seatbelts every time they drive. Inform them of the benefits of wearing one and how this can save their lives during fatal car accidents.
Teach your teens to be wary about the weather:
Weather conditions can also become a contributing factor for car accidents to happen. Teen drivers are vulnerable to be involved in this situation since they don’t have very much experience in dealing with ice, fog, and snow. Be patient enough in teaching your child to compensate for the bad weather by keeping a slow speed while on the road and increasing the following distance.
- Teach your teens to keep both hands on the wheel: Drivers have more control over a vehicle when both of their hands are on the wheel. Both hands are needed when driving, especially when the driver needs to react quickly and be in full control of the vehicle. Keeping both hands on the wheel will also help discourage distracted driving.
- Teach your teens to maintain a safe following distance: It’s vital for your child to follow a safe following distance while on the road because this enables the driver to avoid any obstacle and hazards on the road. One rule you can teach to your teen about following distance is for every 10 minutes per hour of speed, there should be one car length between your teen’s vehicle and the vehicle that’s in front of him. Educate your child that tailgating is never a good idea and is never worth the risk.
The key to successfully teaching your teens to drive safely is by practicing what you preach. All of your efforts to educate your teens about safe driving will be useless if you don’t do it yourself. You should serve as a good example for your teens.
When you’re a parent, you always want to look after the safety of your child, especially when he’s already in his adolescence. As much possible, you would want to always be there for your child when he’s driving, but that’s no longer feasible. All you can do now is to teach them how to drive safely so wherever he may be, his safety is not put on the line regardless if you’re not physically there with him.