Parenting teenagers can be extremely challenging, especially when a teen is ready to start driving. While driving can give teens lots of freedom, it also comes with serious risks. Thankfully, you can help keep your teenager safe by passing along these important driving lessons.
Keep Track of Your Keys
One of the most common mistakes that new drivers make is locking their keys in their cars. According to Locksmith Plus, there are more than 16,000 vehicle and home lockouts in the U.S. every day! You can help your teen avoid this by showing them ways they can keep track of their keys.
Teach your teen to lock their car door from the outside. Have them check to make sure that their keys are in their hand before they shut the door of their vehicle. You may also want to make a copy of your teen’s car keys so that there’s always a backup on hand.
Create a Driving Routine
A crucial part of parenting teenagers is teaching them healthy habits. Work with your teen to build a routine that they can follow whenever they’re behind the wheel of the car.
Make sure your teen is adjusting the mirrors in the vehicle and the position of their seat so that they can see clearly when they’re on the road. You should also tell them to confirm that everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt before they start the car. A simple routine like this can keep your teen and their passengers safe and secure.
Follow the Speed Limit
Speed limits may not seem like a big deal to a teen, but speeding can be a big risk. According to NHTSA crash statistics, 17% of drivers that were involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were going over the posted speed limit. Let your teen know that speed limits are there to keep them safe.
If your teen is driving a car that has cruise control, show them how they can use that feature to stay at the speed limit. Teach your teen time management skills so that they won’t have to rush to get to where they’re going. It can also be helpful to show teenagers just how much a speeding ticket could cost them!
Keep an Eye On Your Gas Tank
Running out of gas while you’re on the road can be a big problem. That’s why you should teach your teen to play it safe and regularly fill up their tank. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to keep around half a tank’s worth of gas in a vehicle.
You should also teach your teen what to do if they’re running low on gas. Let them know that they should pull over if they notice their gas tank is low. Install a gas app on their phone so that they can quickly find the nearest gas station in an emergency!
Don’t Text and Drive
Many teens are glued to their phones. While phones can keep us connected to the people we care about, ensure your teen knows that they should never send a text when they’re behind the wheel of a car. Texting will take your teen’s eyes off the road, putting them at risk of a car accident.
In many areas, texting while you drive can lead to a ticket. There are 39 states with laws against texting while driving, including Tennessee and Kentucky. Before your teen starts driving on their own, you should take the time to talk to them about the risks of distracted driving.
Driving is a part of everyday life, but it can also be dangerous. Part of parenting teenagers is reminding your kids that they’re not invincible. Pass along these lessons so that your teen will be able to stay safe when they start driving! These lessons will continue to keep them safe as they enter adulthood.