Getting a driver’s license is a significant milestone for teenagers. However, acquiring the privilege to control the wheel does not automatically entail safe driving. Thus, risk prevention must start at home. Parents must play a pivotal role in guiding their teen drivers to safety by enforcing strict safety measures.
How can parents keep their teen drivers safe?
Nationwide research reveals that eight teen drivers die daily, while hundreds sustain injuries. The affected age group often ranges from 13 to 19, but those ages 16 to 19 are usually at the most risk.
Several factors contribute to these concerning trends, such as inexperience, resistance to wearing seat belts, intoxication or nighttime and distracted driving behaviors.
While parents cannot always ride the car to remind their teens to drive cautiously, they can still assert their parental authority to impose specific safety rules. Parents must dedicate time to discuss with their teens how to:
- Choose a vehicle with a structural design, size, weight and safety features that suit their driving habits
- Familiarize themselves with basic maintenance skills, such as how to change a tire or top up the oil, in case of mechanical failures
- Navigate through a myriad of distractions inside and outside the car, such as using their mobile phone, playing music or eating and drinking
- Enroll in additional driving courses or safety programs to boost their confidence and skills
Ultimately, when parents practice what they preach, their teens may have stronger motivation to follow accordingly. This way, teens will most likely feel more open and trusting to reach out to their parents if they experience hazards on the road.
Why does parental involvement matter?
Teens mature differently, which also means they have varying ways to approach their driving responsibilities. Thus, parents must maintain active involvement in their teens’ driving journeys to ensure that granting them freedom behind the wheel is the right decision. But even the most vigilant parents still receive unfortunate news about their teens’ severe collisions. When tragedies strike, Virginia families must secure reliable legal representation to protect their teen drivers.