Posted on: Oct. 28, 2016 in Safety, Driving, Teens

Your teen has a driver’s license. They may be elated, the freedom of the open road on their mind. You, on the other hand, might be less than excited. You know the statistics for motor vehicle accidents and they’re not leaving you feeling comfortable. Driving is a privilege and a big responsibility. Here are some things you can do as a parent to help keep your young driver safe behind the wheel.


Daylight hours are safer. Fatal accidents are more likely to occur at night and newer drivers don’t have the experience to make the same judgment calls more seasoned drivers will. Between the decreased visibility, the higher potential for fatigue, and all the other distractions a young driver faces, anything other than necessary trips should be avoided.

Make sure their ride is safe. Your teen may desire a very specific kind of vehicle or maybe just wants the cheapest car to get them around. Whatever they’re driving, make sure it’s the safest option. Choose a car with low rollover risk, stability controls and automatic braking systems. A car that’s too powerful or doesn’t handle well for the weather in your area should be avoided.

Solo excursions offer fewer distractions. One of the perks of having another driver in the house is having someone else to help drive younger siblings around or that your teen doesn’t need a ride to meet up with friends. However, the presence of others, especially friends, means a short drive can get rowdy fast. If your state doesn’t limit passengers for your young driver, consider setting parameters such as the number of people allowed in the car at a time.

Consider a contract. When you hand over the keys to the car, you should feel confident that your child will handle the vehicle responsibly. You may wish to set the rules suggested above, as well as any others your feel necessary, in writing for your child to agree to in order to borrow the car. This way there’s never a question about what’s expected.

They will follow your lead. Most parents know that “do as I say, not as I do” rarely works. Set a good example for your new driver by following speed limits, signaling appropriately, and driving carefully. Keep your phone tucked away and limit eating and drinking, as well as any other distractions. It’s hard to make a case for safety first if you’re not practicing what you preach.


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