Nothing is more scary for a parent then handing your teen over the keys and sending them off to drive on their own. We try and try to make sure they understand the importance of safe driving, and even months after driving lessons you may wonder if they are ready. Here are some tips to make sure that your teen is ready to drive off in the sunset alone.
This post is sponsored by Long Island VW Dealership
MAKE SURE THEY COMPETE A DRIVERS EDUCATION PROGRAM
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a drivers education program graduate actually is less likely to be a potential high risk driver. I can tell you that going through our local drivers ed definitely put the fear of God in me – hearing the stories, watching the videos, hearing the stories of those that made a bad decision that changed their life forever. It also gives your teen time to drive with someone besides their parents; which potentially will help them open up a bit more about questions or anything they may be nervous about.
HAVE A HEART TO HEART
Don’t wait until your teen is licensed and ready to head out on the road by themselves – have a heart to heart to them about how important safe driving really is. Talk to them about texting and driving, loud music, and too many friends in a vehicle. If your child isn’t quite yet driving age – it’s STILL important to talk to them, instill in them the caution and importance of driving safely. Share stories from your childhood, or accidents that have made in impact in your life. Don’t scare them, but they need to know that driving can really mean life or death.
MAKE A CONTRACT
Write up a contract so your teen knows how important it is to you. (Check with your insurance agent, sometimes they will have a contract you can use, and even add your own rules to). After you have your heart to heart, put those rules in writing. Have them sign it, and have consequences if any rules are broken. If you have a rule that no more than 2 friends can be in the car at the same time, and they break the rule – then they lose driving privileges for awhile. If you are worried about your teen texting and driving, install an app on their phone, and if they bypass it, then they lose driving privileges that way too.
MAKE SURE THEY KNOW – DISTRACTED DRIVING IS DANGEROUS
Teens will learn from you – and even though we’ve been driving for 20 plus years, and we might feel ‘comfortable’ with some of the distracted driving habits we might have gotten into, we need to be aware of what we could be teaching them – and we also need to talk about distractions that might not seem like a big deal; yes they know not to text and drive, but what about changing the radio station, eating, checking themselves in the mirror, glancing over at their cell phone for even just a minute, etc.