As a parent, you want to do everything you can to prepare your teens for adulthood. Teaching teens how to drive is an integral part of raising confident, responsible adults. Car accidents are common, and many parents are concerned that their children may not be prepared or ready for the responsibility. Teaching them to drive in a variety of environments is essential for their progress on the road and can make them safer drivers.
Teens who know how to properly operate a vehicle and behave on the road are also likely to have fewer accidents and take better care of the vehicle. In turn, they leave more money in your pocket. This blog post will discuss five teen driving safety tips to help you keep your teen drivers as safe as possible on the road.
5 essential teen driving safety tips for parents
1. Stay calm
Your teen is most likely nervous getting behind the wheel for the first time, so to effectively ease them into confidence, see them as an adult more than as your child and encourage them as they learn to drive. Offer gentle feedback when they make mistakes, and ask them to express their concerns or questions. When they fail, don’t raise your voice or panic. That will only make your teen nervous and prone to more mistakes.
2. Start simple
Don’t jump to city streets on the first driving session with your teen. Build their skills gradually from novice to relative expert. Starting in an empty parking lot is ideal. Here, your teen can familiarize themselves with the vehicle and learn how to properly handle the car.
When you feel your teen has mastered parking lot driving, move them to neighborhood roads, then city streets, then the highway. This is where they can focus on learning to read signs, parallel park, practice defensive driving and more. Try not to rush the process. If it takes them a month of learning teen driving safety tips consistently to move from the parking lot to neighborhood roads, then allow for that time.
3. Educate about insurance and car maintenance
Whether your teen will be given a new vehicle or share the family car, insurance coverage is a must. If your insurance company does not cover them, research other companies that cover teen drivers. One of the most important teen driving safety tips is to review your insurance coverage with your teen so they are equipped with insurance knowledge in case of an incident. Educating them about their car and what comes with that responsibility, i.e. car maintenance, will also make them more mindful drivers.
4. Discourage distractions
Eliminating or overcoming distractions is an important tip since it’s easy for anyone, especially teens, to get distracted on the road. Set an example by not looking at your phone when you drive, but also discourage them from entertaining themselves with technology when behind the wheel. Have them set their phones to the "Do not disturb" setting when they’re driving. Lastly, limit the number of peers they can drive with, especially in the beginning.
5. Set some penalties
To encourage responsible driving, it’s important to establish some penalties for your new teen driver. This will build accountability, which will keep them and others safe. Let them know what is considered irresponsible behavior and what the result of that behavior will be. For example, you might require them to pay for any insurance increases or lose driving privileges, even their vehicle, for a set amount of time.
Other tips for guiding teen drivers
Beyond these five teen driving safety tips, you might also decide to set a time limit on night driving, install a car emergency kit, and teach your teen how to check and maintain fuel levels. These are small things but can affect driving in major ways if ignored.
And if it’s important for your teen to have their own vehicle since sharing a family vehicle won’t do, consider a high-quality and reliable vehicle from Mike Duman Auto Superstore. In business for over 40 years, we have a large inventory of new and used vehicles equipped with key safety features.