If you are the parent of a teen who has recently started driving or who will be learning to drive soon, then you’re probably worried about turning your teen loose on the road. You’re probably aware that car crashes are the leading cause of death among 15-20 year olds, and it’s your job as a parent to work to ensure that your teen stays safe while driving. The tips below should help you keep your teen safe on the road.
Send them to driving school.
In many states, driver’s education is a requirement before a teen can get their permit or license. Sometimes this class is even offered by your child’s school district. But just because the class is available for free doesn’t mean that your son or daughter’s driver’s ed should end there.
If your teen’s driver’s ed is covered by the school district, you should still consider additional education at a professional driving school. Driving school can benefit your teen by giving them additional behind-the-wheel experience under the supervision of an individual who is specially trained to help them learn.
What’s more, leaving your teen’s training up to a professional can save you the stress of having to teach your child yourself. Teaching your teen to drive can be stressful and can cause white-knuckle anxiety in even the calmest of parents, so consider a driving school instead.
Be a good example.
Your teen’s habits as a driver, like most of their habits as a person, are influenced at least in part by their parents. That means that it’s extremely important for you to set a good example for them as a driver. When your teen is in the car with you, do everything that safe drivers do. Drive the speed limit, wear your seatbelt, always use your turn signals, stop completely at stop signs, etc. Some of these behaviors might be out of the norm for you, but it’s important that you do them in front of your teen so they can learn by your example.
If you don’t, there could be serious consequences. Research by AAA indicates that teens whose parents have bad driving records are more likely get into car accidents than teens whose parents are safe drivers. So be a good example, and model the type of driving behavior that you’d like to see in your teen.
Make a driving contract.
One thing that many parents have found useful for ensuring that their teen drives safely is to establish a contract between the two parties. This contract outlines all of the rules that your teen must follow as a driver. Rather than simply “laying down the law” and determining the rules on your own, sit down and discuss the terms of the agreement with your teen. This makes them feel like the agreement was a fair one and makes them feel included, which in turn makes them more likely to agree to the rules. Examples of areas to consider include the following:
- Passengers (how many allowed, kids allowed, etc.)
- Night time driving
- Highway driving
- Bad weather driving (especially snow)
- Asking to use the car
- Gas costs
- Car insurance, inspection, and repair bills
Be sure to also include the punishment for breaking those rules in the contract.
The fact that your teen is learning to drive doesn’t have to be a source of stress. Just think, in a few short months, they’ll be able to transport themselves wherever they need to go. No more driving across town to pick them up from work or a friend’s house! Just be sure to follow the tips above to teach your teen the importance of being a safe driver.
Thornton Chevrolet is located north of York, PA at 180 South Main Street in Manchester, Pennsylvania. Thornton offers a wide variety of new Chevrolet vehicles including the Volt, Camaro, Impala, Cruze and Sonic. Thornton Chevy serves residents from Harrisburg, Hanover, Gettysburg, York and Shrewsbury, PA. Visit their website at www.tchevy.com to keep abreast of the latest Thornton Chevy news.