Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

By Tamara Stanley

Teen car accidents are unfortunately not uncommon occurrences. Sadly, even the small forms of safety are being forgotten, with teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 being the worst. Minor practices like wearing a seat belt or using a hands-free cell phone are being neglected. More than 6000 teenage drivers are killed every year due to dangerous and careless driving. Additionally, there are over 400,000 teenagers that are seriously hurt in auto accidents, requiring hospital care.

Not only is careless driving an issue but driving under the influence is a problem as well. Despite the strict rules and laws regarding driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, many young teenagers turn a blind eye to them. In some cases, they are only slightly over the limit, impairing their judgment on the road. In extreme cases, they are seriously over the limit, putting not only their own life in danger, but also their passengers and others. Due to the increasing tightening of laws, many teen drivers are beginning to understand the seriousness of and the responsibility they take on when driving a vehicle. The figures for teen alcohol-related accidents have thankfully been going down, however, teen road accidents do still happen.

Additionally, inexperience and a lack of concentration lead to many accidents. Many of these occur in the driveway or just outside the house. Parking and backing out of driveways all take concentration, and typically this is when the teenagers are most distracted. Damage is often done to property and other vehicles with no major injuries.

As a parent there are many things that you can do to equip your teenager to be a responsible and careful driver. They should begin driving gradually, never being expected to drive long or difficult journeys in the early days. Explaining to your teenager about the effect of drinking and driving can also help them to fully understand the implications. Wearing a seat belt should be automatic throughout their childhood. So, when they are old enough to drive wearing one will be a natural thing to do.

When possible, teens should drive with few, if any, passengers. Passengers, especially fellow teenagers, are a huge distraction. It is more difficult to drive with other people talking and moving in the car. Your teenager needs the opportunity to grow confidence in their own driving ability before being capable of driving with distractions. You should also lead by example; if your driving is careful and you do not have accidents, then your teenager is more likely to be like you.

If your teen driver is strong-willed and does not listen to advice very well, you will need to find a different approach to making them understand how necessary careful driving is. Explaining how much the car insurance is and expressing that they will need to pay for any extra premiums if they cause an accident will give them a feeling of personal responsibility to be safe. They need to understand how important careful driving is. Once they begin to understand the implications behind their attitude and driving habits, they are more likely to be careful behind the wheel. Teach them safe driving skills and to be alert to their surroundings, then you need to pray. Stay safe!

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