Driving is a right of passage for teens, and driving to school is a particularly exciting rite of passage as the teen no longer has to take the bus or have a parent drive him or her to school on a regular basis. Your teen passed the driving test and is now anxious and eager to show responsibility on the road by way of driving, and possibly picking up other teens on the way to school or to an errand. Are all kids ready, and what does your teen need to know? What about “over” confidence that your teen may be feeling?
With school having started, many teens are taking to the roads with fresh licenses and an eagerness to gain some popularity. But, teen accidents rise during the school year for many reasons. We know of the dangers of cell phone and texting while driving, as well as other distractions that face teens on a daily basis. What are some rules of the road that your child should know before becoming a fatality statistic? As a parent you might implement the following:
- Limit car passengers to one. Make sure your teen enforces the rule of wearing seatbelts at all times.
- Absolutely no texting while driving. One father shared the story of telling his daughter not to text while driving; he observed her backing out of the garage, and she was texting before she reached the end of the driveway.
- Implement consequences when your teen doesn’t obey. It could mean the difference between life and death.
- Be strict about a curfew–more accidents happen in later hours of the evening.
- Have your child’s vision checked–night time driving can be challenging, and your child may be suffering from near- or far-sightedness which can be easily corrected with contact lenses or glasses.
- Make sure your child stays up to date with rules of the road by taking a drivers education class, and checking in with agencies that can assess driving and reaction time.
- If your teen has already been in an accident, consider that a red flag.
If your teen has been involved in a car accident as a passenger in another teen’s vehicle, proving who is at fault can be challenging especially if friendships come into play and other teens are involved. You may not be able to protect your teen from driving or taking to the streets when job or school responsibilities call for transportation, but you can do your best to make sure the rules of the road are followed at all times.