As a parent, your anxiety takes on a whole other level when your child reaches that age where they can finally sit behind the wheel.
You want to give them this freedom, so they can travel whenever they want—but with the risks involved, you have to wonder if you really should let them take this next step. That’s when you start thinking; maybe I should let them drive when they turn 21, or 30!
But as your subconscious will tell you, that’s a little too much.
So, what should you do?
Champions Driving School, one of the leading driving schools in Tomball, Cypress, and Houston, is here to offer some kernels of wisdom for parents who have new drivers in the family!
How To Ensure Your Teen’s Safety
Set An Example
You can lecture your teen all you want about not using cellphones, not indulging in road rage, and not driving in the carpool lane when alone. But if you’re the one not following any of these rules, you can be sure your teen won’t abide either.
Use a hands-free set when driving or revert your calls to voicemail in front of them before you drive, so they know what to do. Stay calm and collected if stuck in traffic and follow all the rules you can.
Choose The Right Car
Don’t give in to your teen’s groveling, especially if they’re hinting to or downright asking for a flashy car!
According to the CDC, the crash rate per mile for 16-year-olds is 1.5 times higher than it is for 18–19-year-olds. That’s because newly licensed teens don’t get the hang of driving a car properly until much later. When choosing a car, find a newer model and look specifically for safety features. Get a larger car so it can provide more protection in case of a crash.
Put A Stop To Nighttime Driving
Don’t think of this as limiting their rights or freedom in any case. Younger, inexperienced drivers have slower reaction times to unexpected jaywalkers or fast drivers than their more experienced counterparts. What doesn’t help is the reduced visibility that comes with nighttime driving. Implement a curfew and teach them about the dangers of improper driving.
If they’re the sneaky sort though, you may have to resort to putting an alarm on their window and their doors, so they don’t get out after you’ve gone to sleep.
Invest In Defensive Driving Lessons
Champions Driving School offers more than just basic driving lessons.
In addition to our advanced classes, we also provide defensive driving lessons online—which help learners become better drivers and prepare for different scenarios, such as extreme weather conditions.
Heavy rain, black ice, snow—there’s plenty that intimidates even the most experienced driver. Teaching your child how to react during these situations will ensure that they’ll be well-prepared.
Teach Them The Ins And Outs Of Maintenance
Sixty percent of people don’t know how to switch a flat tire—fifty-nine percent are not confident or clueless about changing their car’s oil. This has to change.
While any driver can Google the problem or call AAA for help, this should not be their first step. Teach your teen to keep all necessary equipment in the trunk, change the tire yourself, and teach them the right method, so they know what to do.
Also, take the time out to educate them on the ins and outs of engine maintenance and what different problems mean.
Are They Ready?
More importantly, are you ready?