Learning to drive is a right of passage. It’s one of the experiences that marks your transition from childhood to adulthood. As a parent, you have a tricky path to navigate. How do you give them their freedom and let them grow up whilst still keeping them safe? Our roads claim over one million lives a year, make sure your teenager knows how to avoid becoming one of them.
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A Car Is A Weapon
Statistically, young drivers are more at risk of injury and death than any other category, so don’t be afraid to shock them. If you fail to impress on them just what a responsibility driving is, then it won’t be long until you’re hunting for an auto accident attorney near you. Make sure they are aware that they are not only responsible for the lives of those in their car, but also other road users.
Take Your Time
They’re so used to seeing you jump into the car, start the engine and go that it’ll never occur to them not to do the same. Impress on them that just because they’ve spent their lifetime witnessing your bad habits doesn’t mean they need to follow suit. Make sure they are in the habit of taking a few minutes to acquaint themselves with the car when they first get in. Checking mirrors, adjusting seats and considering what’s around them will prevent nicks and bumps and limit the chances of a crash on the journey.
Image Source: Bruce Mackay
With their friends in the car and the music loud, it’s easy to forget they’re not in their rooms talking about the latest breakup or Kardashian gossip. Make sure they are aware just how important it is that they stay focused behind the wheel and don’t get distracted by what’s going on in the car. Impress on them the importance of not altering the SatNav or getting distracted tuning stereo. 25% of all road traffic accidents are the result of an unfocused driver, it doesn’t hurt to make sure they are aware of that fact.
Don’t Drive Drunk
Studies show that peer pressure and the fear of not being able to get home are two of the main motivators for encouraging teens to take to the road drunk. Take the time to discuss with them the ramifications of being drunk at the wheel. If they get caught, they risk a criminal record and a loss of their licence.
Be Mindful of The Weather
Does your teenager understand the importance of adapting their driving style to the conditions of the road? Take the time to discuss with them the effects fog, ice and snow can have on how the car handles and the behaviour of other road users.
Do they realise when they watch you behind the wheel that you’re looking out for pedestrians and potential hazards? Make them aware of just what’s going on by challenging them to a game when they’re next riding shotgun. Which one of you can identify potential hazards first? This gives you a great insight into whether they are ready for the responsibility of driving.