Teenagers are at a crossroads in their life where they wholeheartedly believe that they know everything there is to know which of course, makes parenting teenagers a little more difficult than parenting younger children. Talking to your teenager about driver safety is essential. Here are some tips for talking to teens about driver safety.
Be Confident They’re Listening
One of the biggest complaints parents have with parenting teenagers is that “they never listen”. Rest assured, even if they seem to not be listening, they are. It’s essential that you approach the conversation with confidence. You want to be seen as an authority on driver safety.
According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, there are over 2.8 million miles of paved roads in the United States, and 94% of them are paved with asphalt. There are a lot of miles of road in the U.S. that your teenager can get into trouble on if they aren’t driving safely. Make driver safety conversations a priority and approach them with the confidence that even if your teen seems to not be listening, they are hearing you.
Know The Facts and Share Statistics
According to the Department of Highway Safety, there are two groups that are more likely than any other group to get into a car accident. The two groups are seniors over the age of 68 and adolescents and young adults between the ages of 16-24. One of the things that makes parenting teenagers such a challenge is finding ways to protect them from themselves. Sharing “facts” can help to drive the point home that driver safety awareness is a must.
Sharing facts over dinner like how motorcycle riders are 300% more likely to get hurt in an accident compared to people in cars according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will give your teenager something to think about. It may even prompt them to do a little research on their own into vehicle safety and accidents.
Model the Behavior You Want to See
Setting the example and talking about the example you are setting can help with parenting teenagers. Taking the “do as I say, not as I do” position when it comes to driver safety is not the best way to talk to your teenager about driver safety. You take a position of power when you’re modeling the behavior that you expect. Avoid texting while driving, use your mirrors, and break bad driving habits that you developed to show your teen the right way to do things.
Make the Rules and Stick To Them
Talk to your teen about your expectations when they’re driving. Set out clear guidelines about what’s acceptable to your family and how violations will be dealt with. For example, if you don’t want your teen driving with more than two passengers, make it a rule. If the rule is violated, they lose their driving privileges for X amount of time. Direct discussion about expectations is essential to keeping your teen safe on the road.
Talk About Car Maintenance
Equipment failure plays a large role in causing accidents. Have a discussion with your teen driver about the importance of keeping up with car maintenance. For example, according to Kruse Automotive, if brake pads are less than ¼ inch, they need to be replaced. An important part of driver safety is taking responsibility for the maintenance of the vehicle. Teach your teen how to check the oil, what sounds to listen for that indicate a problem, and how to change a tire.
New drivers may know the rules of the road but they have a lot to learn when driving. Parents can influence safe driving practices in their teenagers through communication. Talk to your teen today.