What Your Teen Should Know Before Driving Alone

For parents, it's a scary time: your adolescent has just received his or her learner's permit and is eager to get behind the wheel. 

You only have a limited amount of time to educate your children on the fundamentals of safe driving before they get their driver's license and go out on their own. Here are a few key tips to teach your adolescent driver.

What Your Teen Should Know Before Driving Alone

 Teenager and car driving

Always buckle up. Seat belts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have a significant impact on whether someone survives a car collision. Seat belt usage saved nearly 69,000 lives in the United States between 2006 and 2010. By wearing your seatbelt, you may set a positive example for others. Also, stress the need of wearing a seatbelt to your adolescent driver.

How do you drive for the first time alone?

Don't drive when inebriated or sleepy. Nearly a third of fatal vehicle accidents are caused by alcohol, and studies show that one out of every five car accidents is caused by tired drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel. Allowing your child to become a statistic is not an option. To avoid getting into problems, he or she may try to drive home late at night or after a party. 

While drinking is not a good idea, insist that you'd prefer your adolescent contact you for a late-night trip home than receive a far more devastating call. There is also a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking among teenagers —While adults are permitted to drive with a little quantity of alcohol in their system, a youngster who is pulled over and has ingested any amount of alcohol faces instant consequences. Allow your adolescent to contact you for a ride to save the sorrow and bother.

How do you teach a teenager to drive?

Don't go too fast. Speeding increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident, and the danger is amplified at high speeds. Even if you save a minute or two on your trip, the hazards of speeding exceed the benefits. Set a positive example for your adolescent driver by departing early and adhering to the posted speed limit.

Keep distractions to a minimum. Many states have made texting while driving illegal, and some have completely outlawed the use of portable cell phones while driving. Even if your adolescent observes the rules, activities such as eating, drinking, applying cosmetics, changing the radio, and/or talking with others might be distracting. 

According to NHTSA data, the majority of persons killed in incidents involving drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 are either drivers or passengers in the same age range. Set a good example by not driving while distracted and establishing ground rules with your adolescent.

How do I calm my nerves before driving for the first time?

Teach them how to drive properly. Your adolescent may not have paid attention in driver's education classes or may not have had many opportunities to practice driving in various settings. Educate him or her on topics such as:

  • Allowing sufficient braking distance.
  • Rather than focusing just on what is directly in front of the automobile, scan the road ahead.
  • Changing driving tactics in response to changing weather and road conditions.
  • Avoid following the automobile in front of you too closely.
  • When to cede the right-of-way.
  • Keeping clear of the blind zones of other drivers.
  • Assuming that every other motorist is going to do something dumb or hazardous.

You'll undoubtedly find other strategies and lessons that are specific to your adolescent, but these suggestions can help you start teaching your teens how to be safe drivers. Remember that maintaining open lines of communication and leading by example are two of the most essential things you can do to assist him or her in preparing for the road.

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