Teens are at a higher risk of getting embroiled in car collisions than adults. Reports show that, as compared to older drivers, teenagers are three times more likely to get into a traffic accident.
Furthermore, many of these accidents happen just a few months after these new teen drivers got their license.
These facts are concerning, especially for parents like you. These kinds of information can make you think twice about letting your teen get her license.
But you can’t be your child’s designated driver forever. She eventually needs to learn how to drive and get her license as driving is an essential skill.
What you could do instead is to ensure that she acquires the knowledge and skills she needs to minimize her chances of getting into an accident.
Read on to find out what measures you can put in place to prevent your child from becoming part of the horrible statistics.
Ensure She Takes Drivers Education Seriously
In most states, taking drivers education is mandatory for teens who are applying for their license.
Studies show that drivers ed is effective in helping teens avoid getting traffic citations. More importantly, it is proven to reduce their risk of being in a car collision.
Clearly, your child is going to benefit from taking drivers ed. So, ensure that she enrolls in the course not just to complete her licensing requirements but to learn about the rules of the road and other essential driving knowledge.
Since this requirement is going to take a significant amount of time, your child might not be too enthusiastic about taking it. What you can do is to explain to her the importance of the program. Also, opt for a drivers ed online course instead of a traditional one.
With an online program, your child has the freedom to choose when to study. Moreover, she can complete the required hours in a venue of her choice – at home or at a café. Lastly, she can learn at her own pace which is important if you really want her to remember and understand the materials.
Supervised Practice Driving
In most states that have a graduated licensing system, teen drivers need to fulfill several hours of supervised driving before they can move to the next stage or get their permanent license. In this requirement, the person supervising the minor should be an adult with a driver’s license.
Find time to complete this requirement with your teen. The supervised driving time is a chance for you to gauge her driving abilities. It is also an opportunity for you to teach her defensive driving techniques and to hone her skills until you are confident that she is equipped to drive alone.
Knowing where your child’s at in terms of her driving skills can lessen your worry. If you know that she drives safely, then you do not have to be nervous each time she is on the road. Meanwhile, if you think that her skills are still lacking, then you can continue supervising her until she becomes better.
Set Driving Rules
It is recommended that parents set up driving rules for their teens to strictly follow, especially on the first months after they earn their permits.
Many teen drivers tend to get into car accidents just months after they get their permit or license. Experts attribute this to inexperience and irresponsibleness.
If your state has a graduated licensing system, then you should not have a difficult time coming up with dos and don’ts of driving. These state rules were crafted to help teens avoid situations which put them at risk of crashing.
For example, some impose driving curfews for these new drivers. To be more specific, these states disallow teens with learner’s permit to drive at night.
Some also prohibit new teen drivers to have minor passengers without an adult present. Studies show that teens are more prone to accidents when they have passengers who are their peers. This is because they are more distracted and more likely to goad one another to do risky driving behaviors like speeding.
Of course, it is not enough that you set rules. You have to make sure that your child follows them.
Remember, this is all about her safety, her life. So, you cannot afford to be lax. If possible, create an agreement wherein breaking a rule would correspond to a penalty.
Not many realize it, but parents like you play an integral role in making teens safe drivers. So, be proactive when your teen reaches the eligible age for driving. Ensure that you take the necessary steps to help her avoid accidents.