It’s Teen Driving Week: How to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Road

It’s Teen Driving Week: How to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Road

There’s a reason why it costs so much to insure teenagers.  Although teenagers make up only 7 percent of the driving population, they are responsible for 10 billion dollars in motor vehicle injuries, according to healthy children.org.  They are three times as likely to die in a fatal vehicle accident than drivers who are twenty or older. This is because teeenagers are both inexperienced drivers and not as developmentally ready to coordinate through traffic situations as their older peers.

Practice, practice, practice

It’s Teen Driving Week and what better time to talk to your teens about driver safety.  If your a parent to a teen though, you know talking to your teens may not be enough. It’s not enough to give them statistics.  Your teenager probably thinks they are a great driver and any of these bad things that happen wouldn’t happen to them. How do you get them to listen and be safe behind the wheel?  Here are a few tips.

Instead of letting your teen get on the road right away, make sure they have plenty of practice time with you.  They may be anxious to start driving or even have their license already, but that doesn’t mean they have had enough practice.  In Michigan, teenagers can start driving at 14 and 8 months. There is a graduated 3 step license, and drive time is logged by the parents who supervise them.  Make sure your teens are getting plenty of practice with you in the car with you supervising. Even after they get their license, ride with them as much as you can to make sure they are ready for the road.

Drive time in the rain and snow

No texting

When it rains or snows let your teen drive.  There is a big difference between driving on dry roads and driving on wet or icy roads.  The time to practice driving in bad weather is when they are being supervised. Find an empty parking lot to practice driving in the snow.  This way if they slide around they won’t get hurt.  

Did you know that one out of every four accidents are caused by texting and driving?  According to the National Safety Counsel, 1.6 million car crashes happen each year because of cell phone use.  Before you can tell your teen not to text and drive, you need to set the example. If you’re texting and driving odds are your teen will too. Talk with your teenager about texting and driving. Talking may not be enough.  Teenagers live on their phone and even if they aren’t texting, they may get distracted if they have their phone with them while they are driving. Consider installing an app on their phone like AT&T Drive Mode which prevents your teen from texting if the car is moving 15 miles per hour or more.  It also sends parental alerts to you when drive mode is turned off.

Get a safe car for your teen

It might be easier to let your teen drive around in your family car, but it’s better for your insurance and for you teen to drive the safest car.  Shop around for a safe car you can afford. Avoid cars with high horsepower. When it comes to safety bigger, heavier cars are safer. Make sure your teen’s car comes with safety features like front and side airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes

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