Most college freshmen are very happy to leave their parent’s house and enjoy their freedom. But the problem is that they tend to forget that college life is not only about new opportunities, but also about responsibilities. While senior students are more responsible and independent in making important decisions, the first year students still need advice from their moms and dads.
Parents should explain to young adults that it’s important to take driving rules seriously. In case something goes wrong, they will be forced to solve problems on their own. There are six major reasons why parents should discuss driving rules with freshmen.
Responsibility for actions
Most college students don’t realize that in case of a car accident, they could lose driving privileges, be arrested or even be imprisoned. For this reason, parents should talk to their adult kids about the driving rules. The most important topics to discuss are the consequences of reckless and drunk driving as well as “hit and run” situations.
It’s a good decision to scare college-aged children with the idea that their improper behavior on the road could lead to suspension from school and even jail. As a rule, shocking facts work much better than a friendly piece of advice.
Responsibility for passengers’ safety
The students, who have cars at college, usually play the role of chauffeurs. Friends always ask them to drive to the local shopping mall or to a noisy party. Many times, these chauffeurs travel in a car together with a few passengers.
Not only are they responsible for their own life but also for the lives of their friends. Students should clearly understand that if they do not follow the rules of the road, they will risk hurting other people. One big mistake on the road can cause serious injuries or even a death.
Moreover, parents should explain how important it is to convince friends to wear seatbelts. This is a responsibility of every passenger, so a responsible driver shouldn’t be ashamed to ask friends to follow this simple safety rule.
Alcohol and drugs at college
It’s not a secret that some college freshmen start drinking and taking drugs, as soon as they are out of their parents’ control. Obviously, these activities are extremely harmful to the health of young people. But the worst thing is that alcohol and psychotropic substances are the major reasons why students get in the car accidents.
Unfortunately, parents can’t stop their children from getting drunk at parties. The best thing a parent can do instead is to make their children learn a rule: if you are drunk, you should never get behind the wheel. A student must follow this principle whatever happens.
Alcohol is not the only cause of a car crash. Nowadays, many college students (just like other drivers) get into accidents because of distractions, especially with the use of a mobile phone while driving. When they try to answer a call or write a message to a friend, they stop looking at the road and take one hand off the wheel.
According to the anti-distracted driving law in many states, drivers have no legal right to use a phone for texting, browsing, or playing games in a moving vehicle. In many states, if a driver is under the age of 18, they cannot use a gadget for making a call, either.
Parents should remind this driving rule to their college students. Parental authority and role modeling can make young adults believe that this is an essential part of a driving safety.
Parents usually deal with everything related to car insurance, when their child uses a car at high school. For this reason, young individuals have no idea who is their agent and when their current car insurance expires.
Brandon Miller, a student psychologist and a blog writer at TrustMyPaper, states: “If a car crash happens, most college students feel desperate. They have no idea what kind of insurance they have or whom they should call for help. For this reason, it’s crucially important for parents to negotiate not only driving rules but also insurance issues with their kids.”
The good news for parents is that college-aged children will become more responsible in a few years. In contrast to freshmen, most senior students don’t forget to pay for the insurance on time and they know how to resolve issues without outside help.
Driver’s License Suspension
Parents should also discuss the case in which a driver license could be suspended. Driving under the influence (DUI) arrest, collision with a bicyclist or pedestrian, failure to pay the fine on time or to maintain insurance, or any other wrongdoing always have a consequence. Breaking the driving rules even one time, a college student will not be able to drive a car for a few months or even a few years.
Moreover, college-aged children should be aware that in many states they could receive a driver’s license suspension from school because of other unlawful activities, which are not related to driving. For example, if they are guilty of graffiti vandalism or a street racing participation.
Every parent should find time to talk with their college-aged children about driving safety and behavior in emergency situations. It’s important to make sure that their child will not face any problems communicating with the police or insurance agency. A student should be aware of all the risks and responsibilities related to driving.
Marie Fincher is a teacher, writer, photographer, and adventurer with a passion for helping children and young people reach their full potential. She blogs at Trust My Paper, where she shares insights into creating the perfect research paper, data science, and related topics. You can follow her on Twitter @trustmypaper.