8 Tips for Making your Teen a Safer Driver
Learning to drive and getting a driver’s license is a milestone for many teens. Driving is a great responsibility. It’s important that teens understand the risks of operating a car. Here are eight pieces of advice to give your teen before he or she hits the road:
- Don’t drink and drive. Even though they may not be legally of age to purchase alcohol, it’s important for your children to understand the dangers of drunk driving. Even after one beverage, they need to know that it’s not ok to drive or let others drive in those conditions.
- Buckle up. Seat belts save lives and help prevent serious injury. Make sure your teen knows to buckle up and to require others to do the same.
- Don’t drive distracted. A driver’s only focus should be on the road. Distractions like the radio or cell phones can divert a driver’s focus and lead to an accident. Help your child get into the habit of keeping his or her phone out of the way while behind the wheel. Even a quick check at a stop light can be dangerous.
- Slow down. New drivers have a tendency to drive faster than those with more experience. It’s difficult to control a vehicle at high speeds even for long-time drivers, so teenage ones may have even more problems. Be sure they know to stick to the posted speed limits.
- Cut the number of passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the risk of an accident for teen drivers increases with the number of passengers in the vehicle. At least initially, keep it to one or two passengers.
- Use peripheral vision. Young drivers should concentrate on keeping their eyes ahead and focused on the road. They need to be able to see traffic events unfold if something happens. Turing their head too often can lead to a split-second mistake that causes an accident. Instead, have them use their peripheral vision more so they can pay most attention to what lies directly ahead.
- When in doubt, use your headlights. Some newer cars have automatic headlights, but even those may not turn on in every situation where they’re needed. In severe weather conditions or at dawn, ensure your teen puts on the headlights. Even if it seems bright enough outside, headlights not only light your way, but also makes the vehicle more visible to oncoming cars.
- Every trip is a learning experience. An important part about driving at a young age is learning from your trips. Driver’s education can only teach you so much. Having the real world experience is crucial to becoming a successful driver. Make sure teenagers pay attention to how they drive so that they can learn from it in the future.
No matter how safe your teen drivers are, accidents do happen. In those cases, contacting a personal injury attorney can help you handle the situation.