Keep your teen safe on the road
The open road gives us a sense of freedom. Teens love the ability to go from one place to the next without a chaperone or driver. With that freedom comes responsibility for both teens and parents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.org) quoted some alarming statistics around teen driving. Teens, ages 15-18, account for approximately 30% of motor vehicle injury-related costs. January marks our calendars as Teen Driving Awareness month. Check in with your kids and discuss safe driving tips for teens.
Make sure others see you
Safety takes mental, emotional, and physical capacities. Drivers needs to remain alert behind the wheel, handle the pressure of other drivers, and stay visible to others. Simple things like turning on headlights and using signal lights in advance alert other drivers of your presence and intentions. Remember Drivers Ed 101: drive posted speed limits, wear seatbelts, use mirrors. Go over the fundamentals every so often. Driving can quickly become a habit, one that we can easily take for granted.
Remind your teen regularly about safety precautions that are often taken for granted, such as buckling up each and every time they get in a vehicle.
Loud music, many passengers and texting are some of the leading driver distractions. Other risks can be fatigue, alcohol and drugs (both narcotic and prescriptions that cause drowsiness). Technology can help. Apps such as Safe Driver monitor driving habits. Zoomsafer and TextArrest will limit phone access and activity while on the road. Just keep in mind that these apps can also prevent you from reaching your child immediately.
Model smart choices
If you expect your teen to choose wisely, you as the parent must too. Have you had something to drink? Don’t drive. Can’t be without your cell phone? Put it in your purse or pocket while driving – and don’t check it. In a hurry? Do not let the clock dictate your decisions. Obey traffic laws and be present when out on the road.
Talk to your teen about staying safe behind the wheel. It keeps the topic present and can give you peace of mind.