Teen drivers. While we don’t have one yet, we will very soon. And since I’m a good (s)mother, I’m extremely concerned about keeping my teen safe while she’s driving. I’m sure those of you with teens can relate, so I’m happy to share these eight helpful tips for keeping your teenager safe behind the wheel.
8 Tips to Help Keep Your Teen Safe While Driving
I should mention that I’m sharing this content for Global Youth Safety Month in conjunction with The National Safety Council. It’s a great time to get this conversation going and to make sure all of my parent-friends take a moment to consider this important topic. Now, on to the list…
- Drive how you want your teen to drive. As with any other life-skill, you want to be an example to your teen while you’re in the driver’s seat. Don’t just tell them what they should do, show them. Remember that they are indeed watching!
- Remind your teen about the dangers of distracted driving. Drivers can be distracted in a number of ways. Here are two points to focus on with your teens:
- Other teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.
- Make sure they know they should not answer calls or texts while driving. Ever.
- Practice driving with your teen then, practice some more. Continue practicing even AFTER they have their license. Yes, AFTER!
- Set a curfew and stick to it. Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight. Keep that in mind when determining a driving curfew.
- Make sure your teen is always wearing a seatbelt. More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt.
- Talk to your teen about driving risks. Use the resources at DriveItHOME.org to help.
- Stay involved. These conversations shouldn’t stop after your teen has his/her license. Keep this on your priority list–stay involved, keep talking and keep teaching.
- Inform other parents. Take a look at the Steer Your Teen Down the Right Road presentation and use it to educate other parents on the importance of teen driver safety.
None of this is difficult to do and each tip will go a long way toward keeping teens safe when they’re driving. Car crashes are the #1 killer of teens and teens crash most often because they are inexperienced, not because they take more risks behind the wheel. This means there’s room for us to do more to supervise them and give them safe opportunities to practice.
Be an active participant in your teens driving experience. Keep these tips on your mind and, more importantly, keep focusing on them with your teen. I know I will, even though she is NOT gonna like it ;-). Do you have any teen driving safety tips to add? Let’s chat about them in the comments.