The most important day of your teen’s life has arrived. They are exiting the DMV with their temporary license in one hand while the other stretches out for the family car keys. You’ve spent the past 16 years protecting them from any harm, so how do you keep them safe when their life is now in their own hands? Here are eight ways to best prepare your teen for safe driving:
- Prevent distracted driving. According to Teen Safe, texting and driving kills 11 teens every day. Simply reaching for their phone increases the risk of teens crashing by 700 percent. Most teens have an “it won’t happen to me mindset,” be open with your teen about the potential consequences of texting and driving. Look into apps like Motovate that reward your teen for safe driving.
- Restrict passengers. The more people in the car, the increased distraction. Try to limit your teen driving with more than one person.
- No seat belt, no driving. Express the importance of wearing a seat belt while driving so your teen will follow through when you’re not in the car.
- Drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence. In 2017, NHTSA estimated 91,000 police – reported crashes and of those, 800 were deaths. Educate your teen about the dangers of driving drowsy and be sure they are home by the mandated curfew so they can get suitable sleep.
- Restrict night driving or in poor weather conditions. When it comes down to it, teens have less experience driving. While you cannot control the weather, you can focus on limiting your teen’s driving during the winter months and late at night.
- Be an active role model for your teen. Whether either of you notice, your teen will act as you do. Model good habits when you are driving your teen and they will follow when they are behind the wheel. Wear your seatbelt, do not look at your phone while driving, and take time out of your day to teach your teen to drive.
- Set your own additional rules and consequences. Let your teen know about the punishments that they could face not only from law enforcement but from you as well.
- Hold out on purchasing a new car. Studies from GHSA show teens are three times as likely to speed when driving a newly purchased car rather than the family vehicle.
Contact Heffernan’s personal insurance division to learn more or to speak with someone about innovative protection for your car, home, boat, and other recreational equipment.