More often than not, teens drive while distracted by their phones or friends. In fact, 58% of teen car crashes are as a result of distracted driving, according to Teensafe.com. What’s worse is that it might only take a few seconds to get involved in a car accident.
While you might want to introduce your teenagers to the world of driving, such facts are typically quiet scary. Since banning your teens from driving isn’t an option, it makes sense to reinforce the best driving habits in them. Ideally, your teens should understand the kind of responsibility they have whenever they get behind the wheel.
Here are four insights for ensuring that your teens turn into safety-cautious drivers:
The Value of Formal Driving Courses
In most cases, parents prefer to train their teens from their home and have them take driving tests later on. While training your teens one-on-one is a good choice, it might still pay to enroll them for driving school courses. The courses not only offer practical driving skills but also expose your teens to road safety best practices.
Some specialized courses, such as defensive driving courses, also offer insights on how to be alert on the road and protect yourself from common hazards. Sadly, this might be something that you might not pass on to your kids when training them from home. Additionally, having certificates in these courses mostly results in discounts on insurance premiums.
Use a Written Contract
With rebellion being a primary instinct for most teens, it makes sense to set the ground rules on how to use the car. This goes beyond the simple cautions on driving hours, speed, and destinations. Enact rules that will lower the chances of distracted driving, reckless behavior, and intoxication when driving.
You should have zero tolerance to anything that will put the life of your kids in danger. Among the best ways to ensure that they follow these rules to the letter is to use a written contract. The contract should outline the dos and don’ts as well as the repercussions for breaking these rules.
What to Do During Practice Sessions?
You need to ease into the driving lessons; start off by practicing the easy stuff and move on to the more complex driving skills. Be sure to explain why your teens need to do everything that you tell them to since you won’t always be with them when driving. Additionally, stay calm when giving instructions as the practice sessions are stressful enough without you yelling.
As you continue to practice with them, you should start diversifying the practice conditions. For instance, you can have them drive at night, in the rain or on the freeway. The trick is to ensure that they are comfortable enough in most situations before completely handing them the driving responsibility.
It All Starts With How You Drive
Teens learn more from how you drive than through formal lessons. Since they spend a good part of their time in your car, aspects such as how you treat other pedestrians, adhere to traffic lights or even obey road signs are things they can learn unconsciously. As such, it is your responsibility to be a great role model for your kids, but this doesn’t start when they are learning to drive.
Always practice road safety measures such as keeping away from your phone and observing the speed limit whether your kids are around or not. Go a step further to communicate about road safety best practices with them whenever you can.
Reducing road accidents that involve teenage drivers is the responsibility of every parent. Other than reducing the chances of your kids getting injured, the tips above can help you earn an insurance discount. Ensure that your teens follow common traffic rules to rest assured that they will be safe on the road.