Every day there are more new drivers on the road, which means more cars on the road and ultimately the potential for more danger on the road. We love our cars and as we get busier, it seems like we try to do more and more while behind the wheel. This is especially true for teenage drivers who can easily become distracted and are prone to higher incidents of car crashes.
In light of this, it seems timely to do a small series on safe driving and accident prevention. And since children are our most valued treasures we thought it would be prudent to begin with driving tips you should share with your teenage drivers.
According to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), one important step to take to help protect your teenage driver is to be sure they are driving a safe car. It’s too easy to allow your child to purchase a clunker or a fixer-upper as their first car. After all, the price is low. But, so is the safety level. It would be much wiser to go car shopping with your child and pick out a safe and dependable car, even if it costs more. Look at your auto mechanic as your own private expert, especially when it comes to determining which cars are safest. Start with the makes and models that your mechanic recommends as having the best car crash safety records. Then, look for cars with the latest safety equipment like anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and airbags.
Next, have some hard talks with your teenage driver. Talk about how car accidents are life-changing events. Then lay down some house rules…rules that if broken will result in car privileges being taken away for a period of time.
4 Teen Driver Tips to Avoid Car Crashes
Some good house rules are:
1. NO cell phone activity while driving
Period. And that includes Bluetooth phone connections that run through the car radio. Impress upon them that any distraction is potentially dangerous and could lead to a car crash. Tell your teenage driver to pull off the road if they need to use the phone for any reason.
- No calls – incoming or outgoing
- No texting
- No checking emails
2. Keep the headlights on while driving both day and night
- This will increase visibility so that other cars are aware of your location
3. Follow the speed limit
- Almost half of all teenage-driver fatal car accidents are the result of speeding
- Slow down, especially near schools, unfamiliar roads, and neighborhoods where children play and might not be paying attention
4. Keep your eyes on the road and minimize distractions
That means NO:
- Eating while driving
- Blaring music
- Looking at your passengers while talking
Bottom line is that it only takes a split second for a new driver to lose control of the car and end up in a car crash. Talk to your teenage drivers and instill good habits from the first moment you place them behind the wheel for their first driving lesson. We all want our children to stay safe and live a long happy life.
Next we’ll talk more about safe driving. For more information about teenage driving, go to https://www.dmv.org.