Teen driving is fraught with risks, so parents need to be proactive. While there’s no surefire way to keep your teen safe as they drive around, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of an accident.
Set a good example
Make sure that everyone in your family follows all traffic laws and drives responsibly. Teach your child to drive safely and be an example of what a responsible driver looks like. If you speed or drive recklessly, they may take that as a sign that it’s okay to do the same.
Establish rules and consequences
Set clear expectations for your teen driver regarding their responsibilities behind the wheel. Make sure your teen understands all laws related to driving, such as speed limits and seat belt laws. Be sure to discuss how breaking these rules can lead to motor vehicle accidents ahead of time and make sure they understand that you will enforce them.
Have them practice
Have your teen driver practice, especially in difficult conditions such as night driving, inclement weather, rural roads, busy highways and more. Doing this may give your teen confidence when encountering these conditions while out on their own.
Limit night driving
Wait until your teen has more experience before allowing them to drive after dark. You can also restrict their nighttime driving to certain hours or areas.
Ensure car safety
Ensure the vehicle your teen is driving is up to date on all its maintenance and repairs. This can help reduce the chances of a breakdown or other malfunction, which could potentially be dangerous for your teen driver. Additionally, check that all the safety features on the car, such as airbags and seatbelts, are in working order.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to have a good conversation with your teen and make sure they understand the risks of driving. When you set clear expectations and rules and reinforce them, your teen will be more likely to drive safely.