How to make sure your teen is safe while driving
As a parent, there’s nothing more vital to you than your child’s safety. That’s why talking to them about safe driving practices is important before they get behind the wheel.
Below are some ways you can ensure that your teen will be safe while driving.
1. Encourage them to obey the speed limit
If your teenager is learning to drive, you may be feeling a mix of excitement and trepidation. While it’s common to want your child to gain independence, it’s also important to ensure that they understand the responsibility of driving.
One of the excellent ways to do this is to encourage them to obey the speed limit. By obeying the speed limit, your teen will not only be keeping themselves safe, but they will also contribute to keeping other drivers safe as well.
2. Make sure they wear their seatbelt at all times
When your teen gets behind the wheel of a car, that worry only intensifies. While you can’t be in the car with them every time they drive, you can take steps to help ensure their safety. One of the best things you can do is to ensure they always wear their seatbelt.
Seatbelts are one of the simplest and most efficient ways to stay safe while driving. They help to keep occupants in their seats in the event of a crash. Even if your teen is a cautious driver, there’s always the possibility of an accident. Wearing a seatbelt is the best way to protect them in case something happens.
3. Teach them how to drive defensively
Defensive driving entails being aware of your surroundings and being cautious at all times. When driving, your teen should keep their eyes on the road and be prepared to stop or swerve if necessary. They should not tailgate or speed, and they should always use their turn signals. Tell them that if another driver ever tailgates them to slow down and let them pass.
4. Remind them not to text and drive
As any parent knows, keeping your teen safe is a top priority. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure they understand the dangers of texting and driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, and text messaging takes a driver’s attention away from the road for an extended period.
In addition, it can be difficult to react quickly when driving if you are looking at your phone instead of the road. For these reasons, reminding your teen to put their phone away while behind the wheel is important. If they must use their phone, they should pull over in a safe location before sending or reading any messages.
5. Ensure they know how to handle a skid
To be a safe driver, it is important to know how to handle a skid. Skidding can occur when a driver takes a turn too sharply, hits a patch of ice, or drives too fast for the conditions. When a car starts to skid, the driver’s first instinct may be to brake suddenly.
However, this can make the situation worse. Instead, the driver should gently ease off the gas pedal and steer in the direction they want the car to go. It may take practice to master this maneuver, but it could one day save your teen’s life.
6. Instruct them on how to react in an emergency
No one wants to think about their teen getting into a car accident. However, the reality is that accidents do happen. And when they do, your teen needs to know how to react. The first thing your teen should do is stay calm. This can be difficult amid an emergency, but it’s important to remain clear-headed. Next, your teen should check for injuries and call for help if necessary.
Once the immediate danger has passed, your teen can assess the situation and determine the best course of action. This might involve moving the car to the side of the road or calling a tow truck. No matter what, your teen should never forget to stay safe and call for help if needed.
An additional safety net for events like these is vehicle service coverage. This coverage may be able to help when it comes to costly car repairs in the absence of a warranty.
You can help keep your teen safe while driving by being a good role model and setting rules. Talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, and make sure they understand the importance of driving safely.
By Amy Sloane