Tips for Helping Teen Drivers Avoid Incidents While Behind the Wheel
Car accidents can be a result of many different scenarios and situations and can happen to anyone while they are driving on any type of road. Teen drivers have an especially high risk of being in a car accident simply because they lack the experience that many seasoned drivers have and are more prone to distracted driving. While there is no full-proof way to prevent teen driving accidents, there are some ways that parents can help teens avoid these situations and keep themselves safe while on the road.
Warn Teens of the Dangers of Texting and Driving
A recent survey showed that 50 percent of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 admitted to texting while driving. These statistics are staggering and texting while driving has become one of the leading causes of teen accidents in recent years. In order to help keep teens safe on the road, it is important to stress the hazards of using a cell phone while driving. Get teens into the habit of putting their phone on silent or putting the phone somewhere in the car that it cannot be easily accessed. This habit will help teens to remember that text messages and phone calls can wait until they arrive safely at their destination.
Teach Teens to Minimize Driving Distractions
It is not uncommon to see individuals who are driving putting on make-up, eating, or playing with their radios. These kinds of behaviors greatly increase a driver’s risk of getting into an accident. Considering that teens are more prone to incidents while on the road, it is important to teach them the consequences of distracted driving. Aside from telling them the dangers, make sure to also practice what you preach – teens that see parents participating in bad driving habits and behaviors are more likely to do so themselves, putting them at a higher risk for being a part of a vehicle accident.
Prohibit Driving While Intoxicated
Driving under the influence of alcohol has been a continuous problem for young drivers. This behavior not only puts teens at risk but also passengers and fellow motorists who are on the road with them. Make sure to set guidelines for safe driving that include driving while intoxicated and make the consequences for this behavior known to teens. It may also be helpful to implement a policy regarding picking teens up if they have been drinking – teens who know their parents will come get them if they cannot drive with no questions asked as less likely to get behind the wheel after drinking.
Getting a driver’s license is an exciting time for teenagers – they can finally get around without having to rely on their parents for transportation. But there are a number of dangers that face teens while they are on the road considering their inexperience behind the wheel and it is key for parents to be involved in their teen’s driving. By communicating the risks of texting, distracted driving and operating a vehicle under the influence, teens can better understand what it takes to be a safe, courteous driver.
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*Photo Courtesy of Tony Alter via Creative Commons License