5 Driving Safety Tips to Teach Your Teen
Your teen has finally reached driving age, and like any parent, you have every reason to be concerned. Even if your child is mostly responsible and attentive behind the wheel, when you are with them in the car, it is what goes on when you are not riding along that keeps you worried. While you may be wondering if this means you are an overprotective parent, the truth is that it is only normal for you to harbor such worries and concerns. Fortunately, as a parent, it is never a bad idea to offer your child a bit of advice on how to stay safe behind the wheel. The following five driving tips could prove to be some of the best driving safety advice you could impart to your teen.
Turn off the Smartphone
When your teen is behind the wheel, it is a good idea to condition them to turn their smartphone off before they start pulling out of the driveway. When the smartphone is off, this will remove the temptation of texting and answering phone calls while in motion. Their eyes are supposed to be on the road and their hands should remain on the wheel. You must help them understand how impossible it is to avoid an accident if they are not even aware that their car is drifting into another lane or moving through a busy intersection.
It is late and your teen is once again racing home in an attempt to slip in the door before curfew. The drone of the car and the mesmerizing motion of the road seems to take its toll, but all the while your teen would swear they are awake behind the wheel; yet, scientists now understand that the human brain will regularly nod off entirely for intervals between 1.1 and 6.3 seconds on average. Unfortunately, your teen will be none the wiser that they are losing brief moments in consciousness behind the wheel. To avoid an accident, it is best to give your teen permission to pull over and take a brief restorative nap, when they feel tired behind the wheel, even if it means they will be home after curfew. This action may prevent your teen from being the unwitting victim of a deadly accident.
Your teen may be a competent driver, but even good drivers need solid concentration. For this reason, it is best that you instruct your teenager to pull over and refuse to drive if their friends are getting too rowdy in the car. It may not be cool to take such actions towards one’s friends, but at least it will give you the peace of mind that your teenager uses good judgment behind the wheel if they take your advice seriously.
Turn Down the Music
Among the many distractions your teenager will undoubtedly face when driving, loud music may impair their concentration and awareness more than they realize. It is difficult to determine which direction an emergency vehicle is coming from, for example, if you cannot hear its approach. For this reason alone, it is in your teen’s best interests to make sure they are not blasting their music when driving.
Take Charge of the Situation
While there is only so much you can say to your teen to help them prevent an accident, chances are that your teenager will probably experience an accident at least once during their early driving years. Whether they are involved in a tiny fender bender or a serious pile up, you should give your child a heads up on how to proceed in the event of an accident. They should have all the relevant emergency contact information already programmed into their smartphone, take pictures of the accident scene if possible and contact a competent attorney from a firm like The Jaklitsch Law Group to counsel them with any legal issues that may arise as a result of being in an accident—especially if they are the party at fault.
Your teen is not a little child anymore. As a young adult, they are going to be driving on the road with others as they begin to experience their first dose of freedom. How well this transition occurs has a lot to do with the driving advice you give them, and the expectations you place on them as a parent. While it may not be necessary to be ultra-strict, it is important to help your child know that the life they may save while driving responsibly could very well be their own.
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