One in five young drivers get into a car accident the first year they obtain their driver’s license. Usually, they happen on their way home from school or when they are driving with their friends. Statistics also suggest that the higher the number of passengers inside the car, the higher the probability of figuring in a car accident. This probability of risk goes up if the drivers, as well as the passengers are all teenagers. These are very dire statistics, enough to make any parent shudder and try to prevent their teenage child from driving. However, here are some ways you can keep your teenage son or daughter safe while driving on the roads:
Information is key
The first step is to be informed of the risk. Your teen driver should know of the risks involved in driving at an early age. Teen drivers are considered to be less cautious and more adventurous while on the road, which sometimes leads to miscalculation of risk resulting to an accident. By knowing that they have a predisposition to taking risks at an early age, they can actively avoid it while on the road.
There is a way to ensure that your teenage child learns the rules of the road, as well as the correct attitude when driving. Enroll them in driving lessons with reputable providers as early as they reach driving age, or even before. Once they reach driving age, they will surely try to learn how to drive from their friends using their friends’ cars. This opens up the risk of car collisions and other accidents. Have them take driving theory tests and practical tests well before the day they take their actual tests. Make sure they log in some hours taking the theory and the practical tests to make sure they are ready to drive when they must. In this way, they can be less surprised and more informed on how the tests will go.
Safety Driving Pledge
Once your kid obtains his license, or even before he does, try to talk to him regarding some household rules about driving. Aside from official rules such as always wearing of seatbelts, you can set certain rules such as: no playing of loud music while driving, absolutely no cell phones while on the road, and no taking passengers on a ride. The last prohibition can include younger family members and teenage friends as statistics suggest that the risk of getting in an accident is higher when there are younger people in the car with the teenage driver. You can also set a maximum number of hours of driving per week, how late they can go out driving, and how far they can go. Driving at night is generally more risky than driving during the daytime. Ask your child to make a pledge that they will abide by the rules you set for them. Set a time period that they have to absolutely follow the rules. For example, you can tell them that you are going to supervise their driving only for a period of one year or until they reach the age of 21.
Disclosure: In collaboration with Sophie Davidson