As a parent, it’s important to ensure that your kids know how to stay safe even when they’re not under your watchful eye. One of these instances is when they’re out driving on the road. Read on to see five important things you need to teach your teenagers about car safety so you can improve their chances of getting safely to where they’re going and back home.
1. They Should Never Drink and Drive
The most important rule to share with your teen driver and repeat is that they should never drink and drive. Even if it’s a single drink and they feel capable of handling the car, they can still get into trouble. In Pennsylvania, where the minimum sentence for a DUI is a driver’s license suspension, 72 hours in jail, and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, it would cost a lot to be caught driving with alcohol in your system. Bearing this in mind, everyone needs to understand that this road rule exists for good reason and the consequences of breaking it cannot be ignored.
2. Practice Is Important
Next, remind them to keep practicing safe driving at every opportunity they get. If they would like your help, make it possible for them to ask you freely and stay ready to help them. This will give them more confidence than the ability to control their car better. It’s especially important to have them practice driving in harsh weather conditions as this will give them a feel of what roads are like in extreme weather. Things like accelerating and braking slowly as well as controlling their steering will be easier for them to do well if they first have a good idea of how to do it.
3. They Need a List of Important Phone Numbers
Since anything can happen on the road, share with your teen driver a list of important emergency numbers to keep with them while they drive. These should include towing services, emergency roadside assistance, and even contacts for the insurance agent of the company whose insurance coverage you use. They should also know some important information, such as that there are three ways to pursue compensation if they get hurt in a car accident. These are to file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver, file a claim with your own insurance company, or file a lawsuit with the driver at fault for the accident. When they have this information at the back of their minds, it will be easier for them to act on it if they need to.
4. They Should Buckle Up and Drive Within the Speed Limit
Speed limits are put in place for a reason, so remind your teen driver to always drive within these limits. Doing so will enable them to maintain better control of the car at all times as they have some time to react as necessary. They should also make it a habit to never start the car before buckling up. Wearing a safety belt is another important thing to do as it has been proven to help keep both drivers and passengers safe in an accident.
5. They Need to Keep Their Car Well-Maintained
A well-maintained car is also a lot safer to drive than one that isn’t, so ensure that your teen services their car regularly. If you got the car from dealerships, which, throughout the United States in 2017, wrote more than 316 million orders for repair, it’s important to ensure that it’s fully serviced and is in good condition right from the start. This will keep it in a good state for a long time to come while also making sure it’s safe and performs optimally.
Remember that if you want these lessons to stick in your teen’s mind, you should lead by example. After all, kids have an easier time following rules that they observe the adults in their lives also abiding by.