One of the most important occasions in your child’s life is when they are finally allowed to drive. Not only does it signify maturity, but also some freedom. However, this new phase comes with certain responsibilities. When on the road, your teen is going to encounter a lot of things. That is why you need to prepare them for various scenarios that can happen any time they are driving. Here are a few things you can talk to your child about.
How to Drive Carefully
One of the most important things you can insist on is for your teen to drive carefully. Teenagers tend to be adventurers, looking for thrilling activities. This can lead to overspeeding to test how fast they can go. It will help if you back your advice with statistics on car accidents. For instance, there are about 16,438 car accidents per day in the US, on average. A large percentage of this number is due to reckless driving. Inform your teenagers that not only are they responsible for themselves but other people on the road as well. Something else to teach your kids about is distracted driving. Teens are attached to their phones, and when they get a text, they immediately want to check and respond. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one of the major causes of car crashes, with some accidents becoming fatal.
Give Them a Set of Rules to Follow
As a parent, your child’s safety is your responsibility. Setting some driving ground rules is also a way of showing support and ensuring the health of your child is not in danger. Some common rules you may want to incorporate include:
- Following driving rules
- Wearing a seat belt at all times
- No driving at night for some time till they get used to driving.
- No carrying other peers for some time till they become good at driving.
- Avoid high-speed roads like highways till after practicing with an adult
- Avoid driving in bad weather till after proper practice.
How to Buy a New Car
Even if you help them buy their first car, it is also necessary to show them how to buy one on their own. One of the best resources you can use for research is the internet. About 60% of car buyers start by researching car options online before heading to a dealership. Show them the important car features to look for, such as safety features, size, price range, reliability, ease of driving, etc. When they walk into a dealership to choose a car, they should also test drive it to get a feel of it.
What to Do After an Accident
Another thing your teen needs to know is what they are supposed to do if they get into an accident. The first thing is prioritizing their health and checking if they are injured. If injured, getting medical attention should be above everything. They should also ensure that no other passengers are injured, then call the police. Also, insist to them that they should never admit fault or start blaming the other driver. A confrontation is never a good idea in such cases. Instead, let them exchange information with the other driver and take photos or videos of the accident scene.
Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol
Teenage drinking in the US is still a worrying concern, with about 10% of teen drivers getting behind the wheel with alcohol in their system. Your teen must understand the consequences of drunk driving. They could hurt themselves or other people. Besides that, they can get arrested. Even for their first DUI offense, they can still face penalties such as fines, licenses suspension, community service, mandatory overnight incarceration, attending an alcohol program, and the installation of a car ignition interlock device. With these consequences in mind, your teen is likely to be a careful driver.
If at one point you feel that your teen may need more practice before becoming licensed, have this discussion with them. Other than that, these are some of the crucial things that your teen needs to know before getting behind the wheel.