Tips for Parents to Help Teens Stay Safe on the Roads
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about Tips for Parents to Help Teens Stay Safe on the Roads.
When teens finally get to the age where they’re able to obtain their learner’s permit and start learning to drive, many of them grab the opportunity with both hands, eager to obtain some new-found independence and excited about the prospect of sitting behind the wheel of their very own car and offering rides to their friends around town.
It can be a very important milestone in a young person’s life, but it can also be a stressful and scary moment for mom and dad. Indeed, many parents feel a lot of worry and concern when their children start learning to drive, and some mothers and fathers even try to discourage their teens from taking driving lessons and try to delay the process.
It’s easy to understand why parents are frightened by the process. Statistics show that auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death in teenagers in America today, and teens can often make mistakes while driving due to inexperience, peer pressure, or a simple lack of understanding of the rules and risks. This guide will look at some tips for parents to help their teens stay safe.
Stress the Importance of Safety
One of the best ways you can encourage your teen to stay safe on the roads is to actually inform them of the risks and dangers they may face, as it’s actually quite common for teens to simply be unaware of how risky the roads can be. Some of them seem to treat driving like a fun activity or a way to make more friends, underestimating the possibilities of crashes and collisions.
While teaching your teens to drive and sharing the benefits of your experience, you can make a point of talking about safety. Remind your teen about some of the dangers they might face, share your own stories, if you have any, and show them some of the data and statistics about teen accidents. Of course, there’s no need to go too far and scare them, but it’s important for young drivers to know the reality of the situation.
Offer Rides at Night or After Special Events
Another good method to keep teens safe is to actually offer to drive them places yourself. This isn’t a plan that will work for the rest of your life, but it’s a good option when your teen is first starting out with driving and you want to offer some assistance for some of the riskier rides, like night-time driving or rides home after a night out with friends.
The risks of accidents tend to be higher at nights and weekends, and they’re especially high after teens have been out partying or attending a special event like a concert or party. By offering a ride or arranging a ride for them via a taxi or rideshare service, you can help them get home safely every time.
Set a Good Example
Children tend to look at their parents as role models, and even rebellious teens will often imitate the actions of their mothers and fathers, seeing them as the main inspirational figures in their lives. In short, the actions you take and behavior you demonstrate can be copied by your child, so it makes sense to set a good example.
If you’ve always been a safe and sensible driver, always fastening your seatbelt, checking your mirrors, sticking to the speed limit, and following the rules, your children will be likely to copy that behavior when they get behind the wheel too. On the other hand, if you forget to buckle up or have had multiple DUI cases in the past, your kids could make the same mistakes, with potentially terrible consequences.
Make Use of Safe Driving Apps
There’s an app for almost everything nowadays, and there are even apps you can use to help your teen be a safe and sensible driver too. Some of these apps work to silence notifications on the phone while the car is in motion, preventing your teen from being distracted by calls and messages as they drive, while others can actually monitor their driving performance and issue alerts if the device detects unusual or unsafe driving patterns.
There are even safe driving apps for teens that can offer vehicle diagnostics and access to immediate roadside assistance if a crash or collision is detected, along with apps that allow parents to monitor their teen’s location and driving speed, providing reports on their driving performance and giving you a chance to reward your teen for safe driving and encourage them to follow the rules.
It can be worrying to know that your teen is driving around out there, but it’s something that the vast majority of parents have to accept as their children grow up and become more independent. Following these tips should help you enjoy more peace of mind and reduce the risks of your teen having any problems too.