Teaching your teen how to drive and then watching them go off into the sunset can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. When you consider that almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2012 alone, the idea of letting your teen drive around can be downright debilitating. So what should you teach your teen about being safe on the road before they drive off? Here are a few lessons to help you get started.
Speeding Is Never Worth It
Cars are designed to help us get from point A to point B in less time. That said, they shouldn’t be used as speed machines whenever we’re running late. This is the first lesson that you need to teach your teen about being safe on the road. No matter how late you’re running or how little time you want to spend on the road, speeding to get somewhere is never worth it. Just because an AC Cobra Coupe reached almost 186 MPH in 1964 doesn’t mean you should push your car to the limit to get a snack or meet a friend. The first few months with a driver’s license can be really exciting! But if your teen is speeding around to get where they need to go, they could be putting not only their life at risk, but the lives of other drivers and pedestrians who are sharing the road.
No Phones in the Car
Distracted driving remains one of the most prevalent causes of car accidents on the roads today. And with how integrated smartphones have become in our daily lives, it can feel like a crime to leave our phones out of sight for even a few minutes. Unfortunately, the safety of your teen and other drivers on the road often depends on their ability to keep their phone out of sight while they’re driving. If you’re not sure how to teach this lesson, the first thing you can do is lead by example. If you make a point to put your phone on silent or put it away before you start driving, your teen is more likely to follow your example and do the same. Setting no-phone rules for your teen while they’re driving and helping them practice by following those same rules is the best way to help reduce instances of distracted driving.
Check the Traffic Report
Watching the traffic report before heading out can feel like a hassle at times, but with smartphones, it’s usually available with the tap of a button. And considering that there are thousands of helicopters in use — to monitor traffic and perform other duties — getting a bird’s eye view of the local traffic shouldn’t be too difficult for you or your teen. This is an especially important step to take if you’re planning to drive on highways with frequent accidents. Not only could you save time with your commute, but you could put yourself out of harm’s way by checking the traffic before you leave.
Teaching your teen about road safety is vital to their success as a driver. Don’t forget to cover these basic lessons and give yourself a few reminders, too!