Teenagers' first years as drivers are quite dangerous. According to the US Department of Transportation, teen drivers have the highest death rates of any age group.
While receiving a driver's license is an exciting rite of passage for teenagers, it may be stressful for parents. Here are some precautions that parents can take to keep their teenagers safe:
Select a safe vehicle. You and your teen should select a vehicle that is simple to use and provides adequate protection in the case of a collision. Avoid small cars and those with high-performance graphics that may encourage irresponsible driving. Trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) should also be avoided due to their increased rollover risk.
Learn about your state's teen driving laws. Many states impose special limits on teen drivers, known as Graduated Drivers License regulations. Before your teen starts driving, you should grasp your state's regulations and the quality of those limits: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Enroll your teen in a certified safe driver's education program. Insurers may consider a youngster who has learned to drive through an approved driver's education course positively. Teens must undergo a driver's education course in some states if they want to receive a license at the age of 16; otherwise, they must wait until they are 17 or 18. The more driving practice your kid has, the more confident they will be behind the wheel and the better they will be able to react to stressful situations on the road.
Enroll your teen in additional driver safety programs. There are numerous extra "safe driver" programs available to help young drivers. Look for such programs in your neighborhood, through your child's school, or with your insurance company—if your teen completes the program, you may be eligible for additional insurance reductions. Furthermore, several insurers now provide discounts to parents and children who put tracking devices in their vehicles. A small global positioning system (GPS) device mounted on the dashboard allows parents to watch and coach their children's driving. For example, if the car exceeds a specific speed or travels too far from home or school, the parents will receive an automatic alert.
Discuss with your child the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, lack of sleep, or distractions. Teach your children the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as other forms of distraction. Every year, accidents happen because an adolescent driver was drinking, texting, messing with the radio or CD controls, or talking to pals in the backseat. Teens should also be cautious not to cause distractions and to drive safely when riding in their friends' cars.
Set a good example. Because new drivers learn by example, if you drive dangerously, your teen driver may follow suit. Wear your seatbelt at all times and never drink and drive.