Your little baby turns 16 and you hand them the keys to their first car. You watch her get inside and turn on the ignition as she heads to school. You cannot remember being this nervous watching someone else get behind the wheel of a car on a seemingly short two-mile drive to high school. To give you some comfort you have done everything you can do to make sure they stay safe, we can offer a few tips to ensure their safety.
- Drive safe and follow all laws and regulations while your teenage driver is in your car. They are watching how you handle yourself on the road so buckle up and drive safe.
- Spend a little money on a safe-driving class. The more practice your teenager has behind the wheel the better. Do some research on safe-driving classes and ask around to other parents about which ones they thought were good for their kids.
- Buckle up. Make sure your teenager always uses a seatbelt.
- Disable their phone while driving. Do not allow them to text or receive phone calls while they are driving. Many phones have this setting built into them – use it.
- Slow down. Do not allow them to speed.
- Get a safe car for your teenager. Check Consumer Reports for the safest cars for you child.
- Restrict nighttime driving. The most fatal crashes for teenagers are said to happen between 9:00 and midnight. It may be a good idea not to have your kid on the road late at night.
- Limit the number of passengers. Teens are likely more distracted when there are additional riders in the car and tend to lead to riskier driving practices.
- Set a zero-tolerance drinking policy. This is a given.
- Have items such as jumper cables, a flashlight, and a first-aid kid in their trunk. Teach them how to change a tire and use jumper cables before you allow them to drive.
- Restrict driving in bad weather. Kansas City weather can be unpredictable but do not allow them to drive when you know the weather is going to turn ugly.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 15-18 and teenagers are approximately three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than an adult. Because parents are the greatest influence on their teenager’s actions behind the wheel, it is imperative that adults instill the rules above with their children so we can protect them from the dangers of driving as much as we possibly can.
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