Educating your teen driver to stay safe on the road

Posted by: Cal on 31/10/2013

Category: General

When your teenaged son or daughter gets his or her driver's license, it's natural to feel both relieved and worried. On the one hand, you have another driver in the house to help run errands, but you will likely feel worried that your teen may be unsafe on the road.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure your young driver knows how to stay safe while behind the wheel:

Close the phone

Texting and driving is one of the biggest threats to teenaged drivers, so be sure you reinforce how important it is that the phone stays off while your teen is on the road.

Let him or her know that you'll be occasionally calling his or her cellphone to ensure that it goes right to voicemail when you know your child is operating a vehicle.

Know how to assess the vehicle

Teens don't only need to know good driving practises - they also must understand how to assess a vehicle to make it's safe.

Demonstrating how to check oil, monitor warning lights, perform tyre maintenance and add wiper fluids. 

It's not a bad idea to bring your teen to the mechanic next time you go there yourself, so he or she can see how you discuss tyre performance and other maintenance issues with a professional.

Make a risk chart

There are certain risks that threaten all drivers, especially those who are new. These include inclement weather, nighttime and high-traffic periods.

Make a chart in your home with a list of all the potential hazards. Before your teen can drive, he or she must check to make sure there aren't more than two or three risk factors - if there are, he or she might have to hang up the keys until things clear up.

Talk to friends

Distracted driving can cause a big issue for young drivers, especially if they are driving friends around. Talking to your child's friends to let them know that time in the car is meant to be taken seriously can help.

Additionally, some parents may want to place limitations on how many passengers a teen driver can have until he or she proves that friends don't interfere with driving focus.