I am pleased to introduce you to Ken Myers, president of Morningside Nannies, with some tips on raising a safe driver. As a parent of a soon-to-be-driving teen, I appreciate the ideas he presents here. As in many parenting situations, parental involvement and eyes wide open is crucial as are clear and solid limits. Since teens’ brains are not yet fully developed and they have less ability to reason, use good judgement and control impulses than adults, they need definitive limits that don’t leave room for judgement calls. For example, a rule against any phone usage at all in the car doesn’t leave them to figure out when it might be okay (emergencies excluded). Enforcing strict limits takes parental creativity and involvement, but it truly is a life and death matter. The temptation to respond to a call or text is simply too great and kids (as adults) are inclined to respond instantly. Distracted driving, according to 2012 statistics, kills nine people and injures over 1000 people daily. Teens, as inexperienced drivers, are even more likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents. Consumer Reports gives many good tips on how to guide your teen to be a safe driver.
How can a parent teach a teen to be a safe driver?
As a Dad, my child first getting behind the wheel can be a nerve-wracking experience. Every negative thought enters my head, and a Dad can’t help but be a worried mess every time his child’s car pulls out of the driveway.
Here are 11 tips to help ease your mind and ensure your child is a safe driver while on the road.
When your child has their learners permit, try to have them drive whenever possible and during multiple weather conditions. This will allow you to see their driving skills in numerous amounts of situations, therefore, giving you plenty of opportunities to give driving advice.
Make sure the driving school is trusted and credible. Look at the curriculum provided during the course, and make sure they touch upon every important aspect of driving.
Before they go for their license and drive on their own make sure your child is comfortable driving. Since they are still novices to the road there will be some unease, but if they seem extremely uncomfortable driving, then have them practice longer with their permit before going for their license.
Make sure the first thing they do when getting in the vehicle is buckle up. It is crucial to emphasize that their seat belt will protect them if there is ever and accident. Your child should also be made aware that not buckling up is against the law.
Until your child is a safe driver with some experience, their friends should not be permitted in the car while they are driving. Friends talking and fussing with the radio are an easy distraction to a new driver.