Parenting can be stressful, especially when trying to teach your teen safe driving habits. However, despite sometimes being nerve-racking, it’s important not to give up so that your teen can learn how to stay safe on the roads. Teen driver safety is important for a lot of reasons, but some of the most significant include the four following points.
1. Your Teens’ Safety
Teaching safe driving habits to your teen is imperative for keeping them safe while on the road. Whether this includes not texting and driving, checking their blind spots, wearing a seatbelt, and learning the best ways to navigate in inclement weather, safe habits are paramount. However, it’s never a good idea to try and teach all of these lessons at the same time. Instead, when you take them driving, you should try to introduce new habits each time. For example, having them check their blind spots regularly on one trip and the next, teaching them a technique to use when it’s raining or snowing. For example, even if it’s not raining on the trip, you can tell them about hydroplaning, point out areas nearby that flood, and tell them how to stay in control of the car.
You should also emphasize the importance of not driving under the influence, which in Massachusets can result in 30 months of jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000 dollars.
2. The Safety of Other Drivers
Teaching teens safe driving practices is also important when it comes to protecting other drivers on the road. Today, the funeral industry is worth a whopping $20 billion annually, with 2.4 million funerals taking place yearly. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving, and in 2018, 400,000 were injured. Instruct your teen on how to avoid the four major types of distractions. Visual, auditory, manual, and cognitive. For example, they should seldom look at anything other than the road, they shouldn’t be distracted by loud music or conversations, they should never have their hands on anything but the steering wheel, and they should focus their thoughts on driving, not other issues. This can be easier said than done, but it is worth talking to them about and working with them on. Although it can take time, parenting is a full-time job, and you shouldn’t try to cut corners when it comes to safety.
3. Job Opportunities
Safe driving can also help boost job opportunities for teens, especially those that involve driving, such as delivery positions. It’s imperative for a lot of these roles that teens have clean driving records, and any accidents can disqualify them, especially if it was their fault. A safe driving record can also be important for teens living in low-income neighborhoods, where opportunities are scarce, as being able to drive can give them more opportunities to succeed. 67% of those looking for jobs report that a diverse workforce is crucial for choosing a place of employment, and by being able to drive safely, your teen will have more opportunities to find the best job possible.
4. More Independence
Lastly, when it comes to parenting, you’ll feel much more comfortable giving your teen independence if you know that they understand and exhibit safe driving habits. Not only will you feel comfortable with them driving on their own, but they will appreciate the extra freedom that they have earned by learning to be safe behind the wheel. One of the hardest things to accept about parenting is that you’re essentially preparing your teen to be their own independent person, and while this can be hard to accept sometimes because they’ve grown up too fast, knowing they’re safe can at least give you some peace of mind.
If you have a teen that is learning to drive, teaching them safe driving habits is one of the most important things that you can do. Not only can it help protect them and other drivers, but it can give you much more comfort knowing that they understand how to stay as safe as possible when they eventually go driving on their own.