Helping Your Teen Be a Safe and Independent Driver

Helping Your Teen Be a Safe and Independent Driver

The joy of a young driver’s license is unlike any other feeling. The reward of being able to drive without supervision after all the work involved in getting a permit is well worth the effort.

1. Introduction

Parents of teens who are about to make the last step towards getting their license behind the wheel will feel a mix of pride and anxiety. While parents are happy and proud that their teenagers have reached a significant life milestone, it is not without concern for the safety of their children.

Teens are known for being invincible and more inclined to take unnecessary risks. Parents often worry about their children’s safe driving decisions if there isn’t an experienced driver to help them.

As a parent of a teen driver who is newly licensed, you will likely recognize that you can’t always be there for your child. You have to let go and trust that your child acts responsibly. There are strategies to help your teen become an independent and safe driver.

2. Be an example

Never underestimate the influence you have on your adolescent, and what driving habits they follow. Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed over 750 teens and their parents to determine how families react to concerns about inexperienced young drivers.

Distracted driving, seatbelt usage, and eating/drinking while driving (using cell phones, grooming, and eating/drinking) were all factors that teens reported as problematic. Teens were more likely than their parents to report dangerous behavior, such as speeding, intoxicated driving, and eating/drinking while driving. They were also more likely to model safe driving habits if their parents drove safely.

Although it may seem as though bending safety rules here and there will not be noticed, children are more aware of their parents than they realize. It is important to set an example and encourage safe driving habits in your adolescence.

3. Take your teenager on drives a lot.

You must continue to give feedback and guidance to your teenager even after they have acquired the skills necessary to get a license. You can monitor your child’s safety habits by going on regular drives together. If this is the case, give calm and constructive feedback. Also, be sure to comment on the good things he/she does.

Going on drives can also be a way to offer advice on topics that weren’t covered in the driver’s license test. This could include driving on steep roads or turning on a lane. You need to strike a balance between giving your child some independence and still actively participating in their driver’s education.

4. Take into consideration additional driving lessons or advanced driver training

Experience and practice are the keys to confidence in new drivers. They are better equipped to handle difficult tasks, like speed management and recognizing and responding appropriately to unforeseeable dangers.

Even if your son/daughter has a license, it is still beneficial to practice with professionals. If your teenage driver is still nervous about driving or has certain skills that could be improved, this can be a great option.

Similar to the above, many scenarios could occur on the road that isn’t covered in traditional driver education classes. A defensive driving course, which teaches advanced driving skills such as how to respond to adverse weather conditions and how to avoid them, can enhance the fundamentals of driving.

5. Advanced Safety Features

Your new driver must know how to protect him/her and other road users. However, technological advances can improve safety and offer a buffer for inexperienced drivers.

Modern car brands offer advanced safety technology that is specifically designed for teens. This includes electronic device controls and speed controls, automatic driving reports and speed controls, volume limits, volume limits, seatbelt reminders, and automatic emergency brake.

A new car with advanced features may be costly for families. However, there are many low-cost or free apps that can limit cell phone usage while your teen is driving. They can also provide reports to parents on driving habits and offer tips on how to become a better driver.

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