Teenagers & Driving- Critical Tips to Help Your Teen Stay Safe

Are you one of the many parents worrying because their son/daughter has recently got their driver’s license? Are you anxious about their safety on the road?

Are you not keen on them driving because of the high incidence of traffic crashes involving teens?

According to the Stanford Children’s Health, a team of health professionals and physicians in the San Francisco Bay area, teen drivers indeed have a higher risk of vehicle crashes that can cause injuries or death because of insufficient experience and because they take more risks due to being easily influenced by their feelings, stress, and peer pressure.

Also, we shouldn’t forget the experimentation with alcohol and drugs that is common at this age, which additionally impedes their driving capacity. Unfortunately, averagely speaking, on a daily basis, 6 teenagers die in vehicle crashes whereas thousands more get injured.

The problem for a lot of parents of teen drivers arises when the proper steps to ensure young drivers know how to drive safely are not taken.

The challenge for parents is to realize the crucial role they play in maintaining the safety of their teenage drivers. This means having rules, practices, and a plan for handling situations that may potentially cause them to bring a risky or faulty decision while driving.

Even though it may appear as if your teen driver is behaving like he/she knows everything, they’re watching and learning from YOU.

This is why setting a good example when you’re behind the wheel is also a major contributor to their safety.

According a study done by Safe Kids Worldwide, a non-profit organization helping families and communities to prevent child injuries, when parents talk to their teens about rules for driving and have formal agreements, whether written or spoken, the chances for them engaging in risky attitude while driving is lower.

If you’re a parent of a teen who’s recently started driving or is about to begin their driving lessons, make sure you have set a good example yourself, established firm rules surrounding driving (when they can drive, where they can drive, seatbelt first, no phones while driving, etc.), and agreed to a parent-teen driving agreement.

Below, discover some important facts to improve your teen’s safety while driving. 

5 Critical Facts to Help Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

1. They must not use the phone

Although most people know that using phones while driving is dangerous, many of us often do it.

This includes a lot of teens who still lack experience on the road- consequently, around 60 percent of teen vehicle crashes happen because of distracted driving, according to Steph Yin, multimedia science journalist who writes for WHYY, a leading public media organization.

In order to prevent this behavior in your teen, it’s vital to set an example- never use a phone when you’re in the driving seat and your children in the back.

Furthermore, you should make them familiar with the consequences- not just to repeat phrases like ‘don’t text and drive’.

Explain that even a minor crash due to distraction because of a text or a notification can result in an expensive ticket, expensive car repairs, etc. and that they will need to pay for this on their own.

Moreover, explain to your teen that driving and texting or talking on the phone is also endangering the other participants in the traffic, both those in cars and pedestrians and that it can even put them behind bars.

It’s good to know that there are beneficial apps that help you track your teen’s driving behavior, as well as a tool called Do Not Disturb while Driving which can be built in their phone and block calls and messages when they’re driving.

2. Seat belts are mandatory, not a choice

One thing’s for sure-seat belts save lives and we need to reinforce this and the importance of wearing it whenever they’re in a car.

We need to explain to our teen drivers that not being buckled up during an accident can cause immediate death by ejection through the windows.

And, it’s not just when they drive when they must put it on- they need to do this when they’re a passenger in a car.

Despite car accidents being leading cause of teen death, more teens opt not to wear a seat belt.

Moreover, from all age groups, they’re the least likely to put them on. The reasons for this statistics, according to Sevenish Law, a personal injury law firm from Indianapolis, are teens considering seat belts to be ‘uncool’ or uncomfortable.

A lot of teen forget to buckle up or refuse to do it, because of peer pressure.

Some of them may also believe that this isn’t necessary when driving short distance. Plus, many think that it’s much easier to get out of the vehicle in case of an accident if they’re not buckled up.

This being said, many of them fail to realize the significance of seat belts- a pivotal safety measure which we need to emphasize regularly.

To help them stay safe and ensure they put on a seat belt, always buckle up yourself and ask from remaining passengers to do the same.

Also, educate them about why seat belts are a must and continue reminding them that not wearing one is against the law and there are serious consequences if they’re found driving without it.