With auto accidents being the number one annual cause of teen deaths, parents need to make sure their young drivers are practicing safe habits while behind the wheel. While driver education courses are important, remember that the person most influential on your teen’s driving habits is YOU, the parent.
Parents and guardians should set clear driving guidelines and limitations for the young, novice driver so that he or she can gradually gain experience and confidence behind the wheel. Take the time to sit down with your teen to discuss safe driving behavior.
Here are some suggested driving tips for parents to share:
Don’t be distracted
Distracted driving has quickly become an increasing problem with the use of cell phones and texting, now causing one in five motor vehicle accidents. Have your teen driver stay focused on the road by not using his or her phone until they reach their destination.
Seatbelts do save lives, and studies have shown your chances of surviving a vehicle crash increases by 45 percent when buckling up.
Set a curfew
Teens want to enjoy their newfound independence by driving at night, but they need to be aware of their physical limits. Staying out late can lead to drowsy driving which could potentially lead to an accident, so have them home at a reasonable hour.
Too many friends in one vehicle
Too many minors in one car can lead to a distracted driver who should be focusing on the road ahead. State law also restricts a student driver between ages 16 and 18 from transporting more than one minor in a vehicle at night.
Remind them to drive defensively
Even if your children think they’re good drivers, it doesn’t make them invulnerable to accidents. Being alert helps them react quicker to split-second situations around them that may lead to accidents.
Parents closely involved in a teen’s driver education can be helpful for the adult drivers as well. It provides the more experienced drivers a refresher course on safe driving. It also helps reinforce proper driving habits that you should be setting as an example for your kids!
For more traffic safety tips, go to the Drive Aloha website at www.drivealoha.com.