Of all the milestones in a young person’s life, getting a drivers license has to be one of the biggest. That card is the ultimate ticket to independence! While there is no way to fully ensure your teen’s safety while out on the road, you can take some preventive steps to promote safe driving. Okay, the car’s ready to go – now here’s how teen drivers can stay safe.
Try to avoid driving during peak travel times.
Driving during rush hour is much harder than driving the rest of the time, and until teens have a little more experience behind the wheel, they should try to avoid the worst of traffic. They should also learn about taking different routes to their destination, including side roads that can help them avoid congestion.
No friends in the car.
I know, I know, most teens want to go out with their friends and have fun – but having friends in the car significantly increases the chance that teens will be involved in a fatal collision. A few seconds of distraction is all it takes to ruin – or end – a life. The easiest way to avoid this is to keep their friends out of the vehicle until they’ve had more experience behind the wheel.
Limit the use of technology in the car.
This means turning off the radio, the GPS, and anything else that could take their attention away from the road. If they absolutely must have directions to their destination, they can either have you (as their parent) tell them where to turn or they can pull over to the side of the road and check the directions then.
Talk to them about road rage.
Most teens fall into one of two categories when they’re driving – they’re either too cautious or not cautious enough. It takes time to figure out the right balance, but while teens are learning, their caution can frustrate other drivers. Talk to your teen about the various forms of road rage, including how other drivers can be aggressive, and remind them that they should remain calm and simply try to put some distance between themselves and the raging driver, even if that means pulling over to the side of the road for a minute or two.
Get them to say what they see.
This is one of the best ways for teens to really internalize the need to look in all directions while they’re driving – and it will help you get a better sense of how many potential problems they actually notice. Your teen should call out things like vehicles braking ahead of them, pedestrians crossing (or preparing to cross) the street, and what they expect the next light to be when they get there.
Try to stay in a safe car.
Small, sporty vehicles are cool, but they’re not as safe as many other models. Have the teen drive the vehicle that offers the best balance of price and safety for your family. You can always get something nice later on. Consider buying the vehicle used, too, just in case it does get a bit banged up.That said, newer models often have more safety features than older ones. Don’t limit yourself to cars that are a decade old if you plan to get them used – they may actually be less safe than a newer vehicle at a comparable price.
Of course, teens often balk at restrictions – many of them feel like the ability to drive is proof they’re responsible, and limits are rarely accepted with a smile. To curb this, be sure to lay out a plan for how they can unlock additional privileges in the car, such as being allowed to listen to the radio. This transforms the restrictions from ‘unfair limits’ to ‘opportunities to prove themselves’, and more importantly, they allow you to introduce things one by one so your teen can get used to them.
Teen Driver Safety
One aspect of ensuring your teen’s safety is proper insurance coverage for them and you! When it comes to auto insurance, Florida offers many choices. Insurance agencies number in the hundreds throughout Northeast Florida alone. So why choose Pablo Beach Insurance Group? Family-owned and operated, Pablo Beach Insurance Group offers superior personal auto insurance and commercial auto insurance throughout the state at competitive prices, backed with unbeatable service.