Car accidents are often the most tragic and painful type of injury people experience. It is crucial for everyone, especially parents, to understand that injuries happen, and no matter how careful and attentive you are, it is impossible to prevent accidents from happening. When your teen starts learning to drive, it is important to instill good driving habits.
Here are five tips for keeping your teen safe on wheels:
1. Discourage phone use while driving
Being distracted behind the wheel can be dangerous, and cell phone use is the most common cause of accidents. Instead of allowing your teen to text or talk on their device, get an aftermarket car seat that will block incoming calls and texts and outgoing ones for extra protection.
2. Mandatory use of safety belts
It not only prevents injuries in the event of an accident, but it is also the law to be buckled up. As the driver, they should make sure their passengers are wearing their seatbelts as well.
3. A lot of practice
It might seem common sense, but do not let your teen drive alone until they’ve passed their driving test and feels confident. Under Virginia law, it is required for learner permit holders to log 45 hours of practice with a licensed driver.
4. Encourage good habits
It may be tempting for teens to copy their parents driving habits but this isn't good for them. Teens should learn how to change lanes properly, use their turn signals, etc., and adopt good driving habits.
5. Create strict rules on overspeeding
Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents, especially among teens. Teenagers often think they can handle going faster than they should. Make sure your teen understands that speeding, especially in a parking lot or residential area, can be significantly dangerous for them and others around them.
6. Limit the number of passengers
While it may be exciting for your teen to have this newfound freedom, they need to be aware of the responsibility that comes with it. Having a car full of passengers with very little driving experience can be a nightmare. Multiple people talking at once, and loud music playing can easily lead to distracted driving.
The best advice for helping your teen avoid an accident is to practice safe driving. If you are both acting as safe drivers, you will be able to trust one another on the road. You can use this trust to teach your teen how to drive correctly.