The day your teenager comes home with his or her first driver’s license may be a memorable moment for him or her, but to many parents, it’s a cause of stress and panic. And rightfully so! Teenagers lack the experience that provides good judgment that allows drivers to recognize and react to hazardous situations. A teen’s sense of invincibility often leads to dangerous behavior such as speeding and texting while driving. It’s not surprising that car collisions are the leading cause of death for young drivers between ages 15 and 20. Many of these deaths can be prevented if you take the time to talk about road safety with your children.
It all starts with you. New drivers learn by example. As a parent, you should always wear your seatbelt and drive cautiously to inspire similar behavior. During driving practice, expose your child to driving in a variety of conditions, including nighttime, rural roads, highways, bad weather and more. Note that enrolling your teenager in a driver’s education course will not only teach him or her necessary skills, but also may qualify him or her for an auto insurance discount.
Below is a list of safety tips and topics to discuss with your teen driver:
- Always wear a seatbelt and ensure that all passengers do the same. Never squeeze more people into your car than you have seatbelts for.
- Obey speed limits, caution signs and traffic lights. Excess speeding slows reaction time and is the leading cause of teenage collisions.
- Use turn signals when turning or changing lane.·
- Put on a CD or playlist before driving and do not fiddle with it while on the road. Even a small distraction could have dire consequences. Keep the volume down so sirens and horns remain audible.Do not talk on the phone, text or eat while driving. If you absolutely must do one of these things, pull over or, at the very least, use a Bluetooth headset for calls. People who make phone calls while driving are four times more likely to crash.
- Never drive after drinking or using drugs. Never get in the car with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs. A designated driver should always be appointed when going out. Encourage your children to call home if a potentially dangerous situation arises.
- Maintain your car to ensure that it works properly. Get regular oil changes and tire rotations. Always keep your windshield clean. Do not drive around with your gas light on; fill up when the gas gauge gets low.
Always keep an open line of communication between yourself and your teen driver. Make sure that he or she feels comfortable talking to you about serious matters. Such discussions can literally save lives!
Ensure the safety of your teen driver. Call Low Rate Insurance Agency at 817-635-0375 for more information on Arlington auto insurance.