How to Help Your Teen Drive Safely

How to Help Your Teen Drive Safely

Most teenagers considered getting a driver’s permit a way of life. Driving licenses are a key to independence from adult supervision and accessing new worlds. But the image of a shiny convertible zipping down the open highway is not typical of driving conditions today. Due to the high cost of fuel and insurance, as well as the challenging traffic jams, other transportation options and/or life options are more appealing for teens and adult drivers.

Some Teens may not be ready to drive safely and safely.

According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teens driving between 16 and 19 years old are three times more likely to die in an accident than drivers 20 years or older. A lack of safety experienced by teens is the most important reason for their poor safety record. This includes not being able to handle a vehicle and reacting appropriately in dangerous situations such as merging onto a highway, merging at a crowded intersection, or driving when it’s raining.

Teenagers may not be able to develop the motor coordination, judgment, and motor control necessary to perform the intricate physical maneuvers required for driving. Driving is an example of a skill that teens may have to learn. Teens are more likely to miscalculate traffic and become distracted. They are more likely to speed, tailgate, use seat belts, or make critical decisions that can lead to an accident. Teens, particularly males tend to be more vulnerable to peer pressure and underestimate their abilities. They also have higher emotional mood swings which can cause crashes.

What parents can do:

Give your teen some extra practice behind the wheel. Private driving instruction or school driver’s ed provide six hours of training on the roads. But, the time it takes to become reasonably proficient in driving is closer to fifty hours. “Practice makes perfect”, so offer as much driver training as possible.

After passing the vision test and writing an exam, a teen may get a learner permit. The basics can be taught first, then the more complicated driving scenarios, such as driving on country roads or in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s a good idea that you ask your child’s driver-education instructor what areas they are proficient in and which areas require more training. If you have a teen, it’s possible to make a habit of handing the keys over to them when you go out on errands. Experience is the best thing.

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A few states have also included a middle step to their graduated licensing system. An intermediate step is added to allow novice drivers 16 and older to pass the road tests. Each state has its minimum age, restrictions, and a provisional license. They will be allowed to take the wheel during the day for the next year. They must have a licensed adult accompany them at night. The probationary period ends and they receive a full license provided that there are no moving violations or crashes. Research has shown accidents are more likely when teens drive teens as passengers. There are graduate programs that limit the ages of passengers who are younger than 18 years.

You don’t have a state law that requires graduated licensing to establish a program for your teen. Depending on the driving skills of your teen, you can make the probation period six months instead of twelve. You also have the option of extending the learner’s-permit stage to your teen beyond the normal six months to twelve. Let your teenager drive at a pace they can manage.

Spend an afternoon with your child learning how to do routine car maintenance, such as checking the tire pressure, fluid level, oil, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and battery water level. He or she should also learn how to change a tire. If you’re able to pay, join an automobile club offering road service.

Make sure that your child’s car meets the safety standards. While it’s admirable for teenagers that they want to save up enough to buy their car, “beaters”, while safe, may not be as reliable as modern models with safety features.

To be safe, teenagers should be driving full-size vehicles with safety airbags. Larger cars are more likely to offer crash protection. Avoid high-performance, sleek vehicles that can tempt teens to speed. Teens are not advised to drive sport utility vehicles. The higher centers of gravity make them more unstable and more likely that they will rollover. Their safety will be enhanced by installing a heavy-duty rolling bar.

Set a good example. Parents can be an example to their children by setting a good example.