As many parents can attest, teaching our teenagers to drive
can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences there is. It’s even scarier to
know that the rational part of the human brain, the part that responds to situations
with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences, does not fully
develop until a person is nearing the age of 25. Because of this, teenagers are
more likely to cause accidents by speeding, fiddling with the radio, and even texting
while driving. Research indicates that one out of every five teen
drivers have an accident of some type within their first year of driving.
It may be relieving to know that research also indicates
that the number one influence on teen drivers is their parents and guardians. It’s
important that you take the time to promote safe
driving, and you can do so by following these tips!
1. Have a
Driving is a huge responsibility and should not be taken
lightly. It’s important to sit down with your teen and have a formal discussion about the expectations
you have for them while they are on the road, whether they are a passenger or a
driver. Be sure to clearly outline and review the rules of safe
driving, even if it seems like something they should already know. You can help
reinforce the gravity of the situation by explaining what the natural
consequences could be if they were to participate in distracted driving. For
example, if they were to text and drive, they may run their car off the road,
or hit an
oncoming driver, which could then result in serious injury or even
death. It is better to use consequences such as these as an example, over
something like being grounded, because it shows that your concern lies with
keeping them and others safe, rather than it being about rules or control.
2. Be a Good Role Model
Children and teenagers watch everything you do, which means
if you are setting rules for your new driver, you should be following those
same rules. If they see you texting
and driving, they will think they can do the same thing. If you avoid wearing a
seatbelt, they will likely follow in your footsteps. It’s important to set
things in motion early on, way before your child even starts driving, so that
it will be second nature to them when the time comes.
3. Practice Makes
There is no such thing as too much practice, especially in
It’s probably a given that you will take your teen out to practice driving during
the daylight hours, however it’s important to have them practice driving in the
dark and in all types of weather. Taking your child out to drive during a snowstorm
may be a scary thought, but what’s scarier is the idea that their first time
driving in a storm will be a time when they are alone and have no experience to
4. Refresh Your
Traffic Law Knowledge
Traffic laws change from time to time, so it’s important that you
do your research. You’ll want to make sure you are providing your teen with the
proper information. This may even be something you and your teen can do together,
as a way of staying up to date!
5. Additional Education
Defensive driving courses, Driver’s Education, safety
programs, and other classes can provide your child with additional information
and practice. Enrolling your teen in these courses can help give you both a
little more peace of mind when they head out to drive on their own. Follow this
for a list of educational opportunities.
In many cases, enrolling your child in a driving safety or
education course can qualify you for additional discounts on your auto
insurance. For more information about an auto policy with NYCM Insurance, check
out the link below and speak to one of our trusted agents!