National Teen Driver Safety Week is the third full week of October. It is a time to raise awareness and help parents to understand ways to teach their teens how to prevent injuries and deaths on the road.
Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Reasons for these crashes include distracted driving, reckless driving, driver inexperience, and not wearing seatbelts.
Obtaining a driver’s license is a significant milestone in a teenager’s life. It provides newfound freedom and independence but also comes with a great responsibility.
Here are some 10 teen driver safety tips to help navigate the road safely.
1. Driver’s Education
Most schools now have drivers education classes but in addition to these, it is important to have practice. If you don’t feel confident in teaching your teen to drive, invest in a driving school teacher for them. It may be the best investment you ever make!
2. Parental Involvement
Establish clear rules and expectations for driving, such as curfews, passenger limits, and responsible behavior.
Lead by example by following traffic laws and demonstrating responsible driving habits.
When your teen has a learner’s permit, and you are confident they understand the basics of driving, it’s time to get in the car with them. Take this time to calmly supervise, provide advice and assess their skills. Don’t yell or lecture. This won’t help. Be patient and remember, you were once at this phase yourself!
3. Limit Distractions
Teach your teen to limit distractions as much as possible.
Encourage them to put their phones on silent and out of reach while driving. Texting, calling, or using social media while driving can be deadly distractions.
There are most likely going to be passenger restrictions in your state for teen drivers during their first year. Even if it is not legally required, ask your teen to limit the number of passengers to reduce distractions.
Stress the importance of focusing solely on the road and avoiding eating, applying makeup, or other activities that take their eyes off the road.
4. Seat Belts Always
Emphasize the non-negotiable importance of seat belt use for both the driver and passengers. Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash.
5. Defensive Driving
Teach your teen to drive defensively, which involves being aware of the actions of other drivers and anticipating potential hazards.
Encourage your teen to leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in front to allow for sudden stops.
Teach them to regularly scan the road ahead, check their mirrors, and be aware of blind spots.
Stress the importance of being prepared for unexpected actions by other drivers or pedestrians.
6. Avoid Speeding
Speeding significantly increases the risk of accidents and the severity of injuries in crashes. Remind your teen of the importance of obeying speed limits and adjusting their speed according to road and weather conditions.
7. Impaired Driving
Most teens know alcohol or drugs can impair driving, but they may not realize that prescription medication can as well.
If your teen is not feeling well or is on a new prescription, encourage them not to drive until they know the effects the medication has and that it doesn’t impair their driving abilities in any way.
8. Adverse Weather Conditions
Teach your teen how to drive safely in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog.
Explain the need to reduce speed, increase following distance, and use headlights in low visibility situations.
9. Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Proper vehicle maintenance is essential for safe driving. Teach your teenager basic vehicle maintenance tasks such as checking tire pressure, oil changes, and the importance of regular inspections to ensure their vehicle is in good working condition.
10. Stay Calm Under Pressure
Finally, remind your teen to stay calm and composed in challenging driving situations. Stressful incidents can happen on the road, but reacting impulsively or aggressively can lead to accidents. Encourage them to take a deep breath, stay focused, and make safe decisions.
Here at John Scott Insurance Agency, we want to be sure you and your family are as safe as possible. If you have any insurance questions, please reach out. We have teens of our own, so we understand the stress of this phase of life and that you want to make sure they are smart, safe and fully insured as they should be in case something does happen.