5 Tips for Parents of New Teen Drivers
5 Tips for Parents of New Teen Drivers
Here comes the day you’ve been dreading since they were in diapers; the day you teach your teen to drive. You remember how traumatized your own parents where when they taught you, and you can only imagine knowing your child how terrifying the experience will be. Nothing can prepare you for the unavoidable horror of driving with your new teen driver, but hopefully these tips will help it be a little less painful. Good luck!
1. Practice Your Own Good Driving Behavior Early
Humans are visual learners. As toddlers, they mimicked and repeated almost everything you did. When it comes to driving, things are no different. With the majority of their time in the road being spent with parents, most of what they know about driving comes from their experience with you. If you want your teen driver to be a safe driver, make sure you practice staying off your phone, staying calm, and always focusing on the road. Remember monkey see monkey do! If you practice what you preach, your teen will be more likely to follow your example.
2. Consider Letting a Pro Teach Them
You have been teaching them their whole lives, so you might feel you should teach them one of their last big life lessons of their teen years. In reality, it might do more harm than good. With both of you on edge, it makes the already stressful experience of learning to drive just THAT much worse. By hiring a professional driving instructor or signing them up for Drivers Ed, they’ll get all the information and training they need by someone who has a great deal of experience. By doing this, you get the peace of mind of an avoided mental breakdown, panic attack or hurt feelings. They may also be able to get an auto insurance discount in the end! Everybody wins!
3. Try to Set a Few Driving Boundaries
Contrary to popular belief, kids look to rules so they know what to do in unfamiliar situations and to learn what they need to do in order to get positive responses from their parents. Make sure that you lay down their driving boundaries before they get their license. It is important to tell them exactly what you want them to do, whether it’s not going further than 20 miles from home, not driving with a group of people in the car, or driving late at night right after they get their license. This will help you avoid those arguments once they start driving. You can even write up a contract that you both agree on and have them sign it, and as they gain more experience behind the wheel they can gain rewards such as more driving freedoms.
4. Make Sure To Discuss the Risks of Driving with Them, Not Just About Drinking and Driving
A parent’s worst fear is that their child might be involved in a drinking and driving accident. Their fear is pretty realistic, seeing as in 2006 the death toll of drunk driving was 13,470 fatalities in the United States alone. This number made up for 1/3 of all car accidents in the states. But in our modern day and age, there are countless distractions that can impact the safety of young drivers. With smart phones, smart watches, and social media being the norm for all teenagers, they have more potential distractions than any previous generation. According to a new study conducted in 2013, texting and driving has become the leading cause of death for teen drivers. Make sure to you talk to your teen about the potential dangers, and be sure to remind them that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
5. Try and Share Family Driving Responsibilities
After all, practice makes perfect! Try to give your teen excuses to practice driving, whether it’s going to the grocery store or having them drive the family to soccer practice. It’ll have its fair share of challenges at first, but sharing the household driving responsibility will benefit them the most in the long run while you get some free time!
Here at Keenan Honda we have everything you need to keep your new driver safe! With a huge selection of new and used vehicles in stock and our very own Keenan Insurance Agency on site, they will have everything your teen needs to hit the road. If you would like to contact us about a new or used vehicle, you can contact us via our website or by phone at (877) 621-4216.
Thinking about auto insurance for the newest driver in the family? If you have any questions or would like to discuss it with an agent, feel free to contact one of our Keenan Insurance agents online or by phone at (215) 345-6670. We are always happy to help with all of your insurance needs.