Talk to Your Teen About #safedriving

According to the FCC, distracted driving accounted for 16% of all fatal crashes in 2008 and 21% of accidents involving injuries. Music, cell phones and passengers are the biggest concerns to distract a young driver. Talk to them about setting boundaries for their passengers such as setting appropriate noise levels and calming down in-car rowdiness. Picking out the music before their journey and keeping the cell phone out of reach are two easy habits to reduce some of the dangers of distractions.

 

Drivers are only prepared to see the car in front of them. You can teach them to look for signals that are signs of danger ahead. Teach them signals that you use to slow down your car like the indication of brake lights in cars ahead and what you do when you see cars slowing down or veering. Teach them to look for pedestrians that are about to step into a crosswalk. As drivers, we are very alert to not only the car in front of us but everything that is occurring around us.

2. How to avoid distractions

According to the FCC, distracted driving accounted for 16% of all fatal crashes in 2008 and 21% of accidents involving injuries. Music, cell phones and passengers are the biggest concerns to distract a young driver. Talk to them about setting boundaries for their passengers such as setting appropriate noise levels and calming down in-car rowdiness. Picking out the music before their journey and keeping the cell phone out of reach are two easy habits to reduce some of the dangers of distractions.

 

3. How to plan their route before driving

Having your teen driver pre-plan their route is very important for young drivers and often overlooked. This pre-planning helps them understand the roads they will be on and how congested these roads will be. It helps them avoid the nervousness that arises from having to change lanes quickly, etc. It will also help them prepare for more alert driving if they have to drive at night or on wet roads. Just like when a child plans for a speech, they do better, driving a vehicle is very similar.

 

4. The importance of ZERO driving under the influence

While your child has probably heard again and again not to drive while under the influence, it is important to talk about the real ways to deal with this. Some kids do drink even though they are under age and will feel pressure to drive. Talk to them about realistic options like Uber, leaving the car at a friend’s house and pre-planning the designated driver. As adults, we know the devastating costs of driving under the influence.

 

You are the example. Make sure you are driving without distractions like reading your mail, using your car as an “office” or talking on the phone often. You can also implement the very powerful rule that your teen driver will not drive at night or with other people in the car (including younger siblings) for the first six months. This six month period allows them to get a certain amount of expertise and wisdom for the feel of the car and the demands of the road before they have the added responsibility of others in their car. Keep your kids safe and keep the conversation about safe driving a comfortable, open topic for your family to ensure their safety.

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