Did you know that car collisions are one of the leading causes of death among young drivers? Vehicle crashes involving teen drivers happen everywhere, and these may be caused by improper driving conditions, driver distractions, driver inexperience and too fast driving.
Young drivers need encouragement to follow the rules of the road. Here are some tips that might help parents with these ongoing conversations.
Check Your State’s Law for Young Drivers
Both parents and young drivers need to know the state driving laws which include graduated driving requirements for teens. In ongoing conversations about the laws, discuss different scenarios of how to practice the law while driving.
Laws for young drivers vary from one state to the other. That’s why it’s best if you check your state’s laws and review in what ways they’re being implemented in your location so that you’ll know how to encourage young drivers to obey the law.
Ensure your young driver knows the do’s and don’ts of driving including distractions to avoid, nighttime driving restrictions, passenger limitation, and curfew.
Define Your Expectations about Their Driving
Parents play a key role in encouraging their children to follow the rules of the road and in return, these young drivers are driven to show their parents that they can be trusted in driving. Define your expectations for responsible driver behavior before handing over the car keys.
- Instill in your teen that driving is an important responsibility that should not be taken lightly. One way of motivating young drivers to obey the law is for you to set up and enforce some road rules following your state’s laws. By doing so, you’re giving your teenage driver some ideas on how to responsibly drive.
- Provide your child with the expectation of safety every time he or she goes for a drive.
- Remind him or her to observe the laws of the road and the rules of driving you have set up together.
- Each time your child drives, discuss different scenarios he or she encountered and what they learned for next time driving. Ongoing dialogue is the key.
If you’re able to lay down your expectations, your young driver will most likely be more responsible for their actions.
From Time to Time, Remind Them to Buckle their Seat Belts and to Not Drive Distracted
Although laws for young drivers differ depending on where you reside, seatbelts play an important factor in driving. Aside from being the law, buckling of seatbelts has been proven to save lives. That’s why it’s essential to regularly remind your teen driver to buckle up every time.
Work out a system with your teen on what they will do with their phone and other tech gear while driving. Role model the same behavior so your teen driver will not be encouraged to use a phone while driving. Discuss other distractions and how to best solve them before getting into a car.
Ensure That They Maintain the Flow of Traffic and use Lane Courtesy
Young drivers tend to be impulsive while driving and for that reason alone, encourage your teen to drive with the flow of traffic (not faster than traffic) and slow down in heavy traffic situations or bad weather. Driving too fast or too slow can cause accidents. Maintaining the flow of traffic will make them safer. Encourage your teen to drive the speed limit.
If he or she needs to drive slower than prevailing traffic, encourage your teen to use lane courtesy which means to drive in the right lane and pass only if they feel comfortable pulling into the left lane. Remind them when changing lanes to use their signal before they do so.
Encourage them to not Drink and Drive
Underage drivers should never drink but if they do they should not drive. Encourage them to have a designated driver in their group or make a strong case that no matter what, they can call you for a ride home. Remind them that drunk driving has serious consequences with safety, the law and rules at home.
Include your Teen in the Process of Generating the Rules and Consequences
Include your teen in the process of creating the family road rules and examine possible safety, law and home consequences if the rules are broken.
Conduct regular training sessions such as test drives and road rule discussions. Real-time driving experience is important for a teen driver so make the most of it preparing your teen for the road under your supervision to ensure that your young driver is appropriately guided.
Although young drivers account for more car collisions, guiding them along the way and letting them practice safe driving techniques can help them follow the law and become experienced drivers in the future.
Frances Bussard is a businesswoman and law writer with more than 20 years of experience. She writes pieces on various law topics that she hopes will help the common reader with their concerns.