teen driving tips

When teenagers are getting ready to get their driver’s license, it can be exciting and a bit scary for both the teens and their parents. There are good reasons for both sets of emotions. For many parents, a teen’s ability to drive equates to a certain amount of freedom for all concerned. Teens are able to travel longer distances on their own, and parents are called on less often to give rides. Some apprehension makes sense, too. In 2011, 2,650 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and 292,000 wound up in emergency rooms.

So how do parents keep their own teens from ending up in the same situation or from hurting someone else? It comes down to having the right combination of rules, discussions and actions and setting the right example.

Why Teenagers Crash

Most of the time, when a teen is injured in a car crash, one or more of the following reasons come into play:

  • Driver inexperience
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving at night
  • Failure to use seat belts
  • Driving with other teen passengers
  • Impaired driving
  • Drowsy driving

It is important that parents talk to their teenagers about all these things. In order to help protect teens, many states, including North and South Carolina, start young drivers out with provisional licenses that restrict the hours of driving and the number of peers they can have in the car. There is also an additional push for supervised driving time even after they obtain the license in order to help them reinforce their driving skills and become a more diligent driver.

Set a Good Example for Your Kids

The majority of reasons for crashes come down to not giving the road 100 percent attention during driving. Cell phone use, including talking, texting and using the Internet or apps has gotten a lot of attention. Teens are not the only ones who are guilty. Surveys reveal that the majority of teens have witnessed parents talking and/or texting on cell phones while driving, and an even bigger majority have admitted to these activities as well.

Ensuring your teenager is as educated as possible about road safety for themselves and others will help them (and you!) transition to their newfound freedom. Be on the lookout for the second blog post of this Teen Driving series as the new drivers get ready to head back to school in August.

Image Source: Flickr