One of the most important parts of parenting teenagers is teaching them skills like safe driving. Your child will almost definitely need to drive at some point, and who better to teach them how to do it safely than their parents? If you’re wondering about the best way to talk to your teen about safe driving, here are a few tips to go over with them.
There’s No Right Amount of Alcohol to Drink Before Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI, is one of the most common criminal law offenses. As a result, drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. That said, make sure that your teen knows that no amount of alcohol is safe to drink before they get behind the wheel of their car. With inexperience in the mix, it’s best not to take the chances of adding an extra issue like the effects of alcohol.
Drinking and driving is dangerous because alcohol affects a person’s cognitive skills and lowers their reaction speed. With this in mind, your teen needs to know that if they ever drink alcohol, they’re better off finding an alternative method of getting where they need to go so they don’t drive themselves. Additionally, they should never accept an offer to be driven anywhere by someone who has had alcohol to drink.
Distractions While Driving Can Be Costly
Next, let your teen know that they need to avoid distractions while they drive. A number of things can count as distractions, especially to an inexperienced driver. From handling the phone while driving to talking to passengers in the vehicle, many things can take the attention of a driver away from the road. This can have a devastating effect when you think about the fact that according to Bankrate, in 2020, the economic costs for a disabling injury were $101,000, and the costs for a fatal car accident were $1,750,000. Among these costs were medical expenses, wage losses, employers’ uninsured costs, motor vehicle damage, and administrative expenses.
Car Maintenance Is Non-Negotiable
Don’t forget to tell your teen that in order to drive safely, they should keep their car well-maintained. To do this, they should know how to handle various service details by themselves, including checking and topping up oils and fluids. In case of an issue that needs expert attention, they can easily find a professional to help them. As of 2023, there are 283,315 auto mechanics businesses in America, a 1.3% increase from 2022, according to IBISWorld. A car that’s in good shape is a lot more efficient and safe to drive, so regular car maintenance should be prioritized.
Speeding Is Never Worth It
Last but not least, talk to your teen about the importance of driving at the recommended speed limit. Let them know that speed limits exist for a reason. These speeds make it possible for a driver to react in the safest way in case of a problem. Additionally, let your teens know that in bad weather, they should either avoid driving altogether or drive at a low speed. This will help them maintain better control as they drive and improve their odds of getting to their destination safe and sound.
Remember these things while talking to your teen about safe driving. This is one of the most important things to do while parenting teenagers because it will have an impact on the rest of their lives. Leading by example and being a safe driver yourself is a great way to make the lessons you share with them stick, and you’ll also improve your own safety as a result.