If you are the parent of a teenager, there is no doubt that you are concerned about your son’s or daughter’s safety while driving. Teenagers who are new to driving often pose additional risks to themselves, their passengers and other drivers when hitting the road. To keep your teen safer behind the wheel while driving with friends, try offering these six helpful tips.
Insist on Seat Belts
Everyone in the vehicle should be buckled in securely while on the road. According to statistics cited by the CDC, more than half of teens and adults who suffered fatal injuries in car crashes in 2016 were not wearing seat belts. In addition to providing better protection for everyone in the event of an accident, wearing seat belts can encourage everyone inside the vehicle to remain seated and refrain from getting too rowdy.
Know the Route
You will want to know where exactly your teen is going so that you can monitor his or her safety better. Teens who are new to driving might not know what to do if they are traveling on an unfamiliar route with unusual roads or traffic signs. GPS tracking software makes it possible for you to know where your teen’s vehicle is located at all times. This technology even lets you receive emails or text messages of any alerts.
Go for Practice Drives
Even though your teen may already have a license and feel like an expert at driving, going along on routine practice drives can give you greater peace of mind. While riding with your teen during these practice drives, you can monitor how well he or she changes lanes, signals to turn, and comes to complete stops at stop signs and red lights. You can also use this time with your teen to practice parallel parking and backing in and out of parking spaces.
Lower Music Volumes
Many teens like to listen to their favorite songs at a high volumes, and this can create a huge distraction while driving. You should emphasize the importance of staying focused while driving and how loud music can distract from the road. If you believe that your teen will still be tempted to turn up the volume, CBS News states that there is modern technology that allows you to set volume controls for the vehicle’s sound system and also set maximum speeds of how fast the vehicle can go while your teen is driving.
Choose the Safest Vehicle Possible
If your teen is getting a new car or plans to use your own, you will want to make sure that he or she is driving with friends in the safest vehicle possible. Driving a six- or an eight-cylinder sports car might encourage your teen to speed and take more risks on the road. Midsize sedans and small SUVs often work best for teens. No matter what type of vehicle is driven, it should be equipped with airbags, antilock brakes and additional safety features that are up to date with modern safety standards.
Set Cleanliness Expectations
Insisting that your teen keeps the inside and outside of the vehicle clean can reduce the chances of encountering safety hazards while driving. Spilled drinks and food along with other trash that is littered inside the vehicle can make driving more difficult and possibly make your teen sick from the germs that these messes attract. The insides and outsides of the windows and windshield should also be kept clean so that vision is not obstructed while trying to see the road.
Driving with friends does not have to be a dangerous ordeal for your teen if the right precautions are taken. By working with your teen and establishing some clear boundaries, you will be doing your job as a parent to keep your teen safe on the road.