There are approximately 733 vehicle accidents every hour in the United States. Unfortunately, a good number of these accidents involve teenage drivers. While the number of teenage driver fatalities has decreased over the past few years, it’s still important for parents to do everything they can to help their teen drivers avoid car accidents. When teens get in accidents, you may see an increase in auto insurance rates. Here are a few parenting tips that can help.
1. Take Them for Defensive Driving Lessons
Driving is a complex task that requires focus, concentration, and split-second decision-making. Even the most experienced drivers can find themselves in accidents if they’re not paying attention. For teen drivers, who are often inexperienced and impulsive, the risk of accidents is even higher. That’s why it’s so important to take your teen driver for defensive driving lessons.
Defensive driving lessons help teen drivers learn how to anticipate and respond to potential hazards on the road. They also teach them to stay calm and focused behind the wheel, even in stressful situations. By taking your teen driver for defensive driving lessons, you can help them avoid accidents and keep themselves safe on the road.
2. Set Rules and Expectations
It’s important to set rules and expectations for your teen driver before they start driving. Make sure they understand the consequences of breaking the rules, such as getting a ticket or being involved in an accident. It’s also important to set expectations for their behavior on the road. For example, you might expect them to always wear their seatbelt, obey the speed limit, and avoid distracted driving. By setting rules and expectations, you can help your teen driver stay safe on the road.
Additionally, make sure they understand the importance of following the rules of the road. For example, they should always obey traffic signs and signals and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
3. Teach Them to Drive in All Conditions
Teen drivers should be prepared to drive in all kinds of conditions, from sunny weather to heavy rain and snow. Make sure they know how to adjust their driving for different weather conditions. For example, they should slow down and increase following distances in wet weather. They should also be aware of the increased risk of accidents in adverse weather conditions. Remember to also mention that it’s better to just stop altogether than to risk driving in bad conditions at times.
4. Help Them Stay Focused on the Road
It can be easy for teens to get distracted while driving. To help them stay focused, have a conversation with them about how to avoid distractions. For example, they should avoid talking on the phone, eating, or changing the radio station while driving. Additionally, tell them to always keep their eyes on the road and be aware of their surroundings. This way, they can react quickly if something unexpected happens.
5. Talk to Them About the Consequences of Dangerous Driving
It’s important to talk to your teen driver about the consequences of dangerous driving. For example, speeding, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic can all lead to accidents. If they’re involved in an accident, they could be seriously injured or even killed. Additionally, they could face legal consequences, such as getting a ticket or having their license suspended.
6. Talk to Them About the Importance of Car Maintenance and Timely Repairs
Make sure your teen driver understands the importance of car maintenance. For example, they should know how to check the brake fluid, oil level, and tire pressure. They should also know how to change a flat tire and jump-start a dead battery.
They should also be aware of the importance of timely repairs. If the car is making strange noises or it has a cracked or damaged windshield, it could easily shatter in an accident, causing serious injury. Fortunately, in most situations, your insurance will cover the expense of repair or replacement. In fact, 30% of all automobile insurance claims are for windshields.
Before you are tempted to take all these tips for granted, remember that on Californian roads alone, there were over 190,000 crashes with injuries last year. So, even if you think your kids are the best drivers out there, a little extra precaution never hurts. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.