When you begin driving it can be an exciting time, especially as a teenager. This new opportunity also comes with great responsibility. While your teen may be excited, as parents it can be a nerve-wracking time. And rightfully so! According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 205,000 young drivers were injured in car accidents in 2019.
Teen driving incidents can oftentimes be prevented with guidance and supervision while your student is learning. Stay alert on what your teen is doing and what distractions they might have. Have open, honest and frequent conversations about the dangers of distracted driving. This can help them as they get ready for the road.
How can you safely and effectively encourage safe driving with your teen behind the wheel?
- Ensure they’re following all safety protocols, as soon as they get in the car, every single time. Persistence is key.
- Watch for what indicators of what might distract them while behind the wheel.
- Don’t allow cell phone use while driving – phone calls, texting or otherwise.
- Make sure your teen is aware of the dangers and help them plan ahead.
First things first, make sure your student is well educated on safety protocols and follows them closely. This begins with simple things like adjusting mirrors, buckling seatbelts and ensuring the safety of all passengers. Make sure the car is not moved until the safety checklist is complete, every time.
When you’re riding with them as they begin driving, watch for potential distractions. Are they glancing towards their phone? Texting when they think it’s safe? Looking around instead of paying attention to the road? All of these are things you should initiative serious conversation about. Knowing their most likely distractions is the first step towards preventing them. Calling out bad habits early on could help set boundaries so they are less likely to cause safety problems when they’re alone on Georgia roadways.
Drop the likely distraction of a cell phone all together. All drivers are tempted by cell phone usage while driving. Teens are no difference, and could be even more at risk due to their inexperience driving with visual, manual and cognitive distractions. Statistically, 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their phone. It’s best if cell phones aren’t within reach while driving – to prevent the temptation all together. Most phones have the ability to download safety apps for parents to use for monitoring. If they have an iPhone, ensure they turn on safe driving mode so they’re only alerted of urgent calls or messages. For more information on safe driving, check out hellotech.com.
Always plan ahead. Planning ahead helps your teen develop defensive driving skills. Come up with on-the-road scenarios that could occur to help them understand thinking three steps ahead. This can help combat distracted driving and prevent auto accidents.