The first time your teen gets behind the wheel marks a pivotal moment in life, signaling the first step toward true independence and adulthood. As a parent, you naturally have concerns about safety, the cost of insuring a young driver, the kind of car your teenager should drive, and more. Here are the top 6 tips for teen drivers and their parents.
1. Buckle up.
Besides being the law, seat belts have been proven to save lives, but the message is not getting through to all young drivers. In fatal crashes of 16-20 year olds, 60 percent were unbuckled at the time of the crash. A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that these drivers were most likely to think that belts were potentially harmful.
2. Hang up the phone.
The risk of talking or texting while driving is high, especially for young people. Eleven percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted.
3. Slow down.
Teens tend to have the need for speed due to their impulsive nature and poor judgment. Thirty-seven percent of male drivers between the ages of 15-20 were speeding right before their fatal crash.
4. Don't drink and drive.
While young drivers are less likely than adults to drive after drinking, when they do, their crash risk is significantly higher due to the alcohol effects combined with their lack of driving experience. However, progress has been made. Since 1982, the number of drivers between the ages of 16-20 who were killed from driving drunk dropped 26 percent.
5. Limit night driving.
Graduated driver licensing programs place limits on night driving and for good reason. In 2010, 17 percent of teenagers' fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight, and 24 percent occurred between midnight and 6 a.m.
6. Watch the weather.
In inclement weather, it is even more dangerous for a young driver to be on the road due to their inexperience handling the car in those situations. Teach your child how to confidently handle weather challenges. Consider sending the teen to a driving school to learn car control techniques in a safe environment, preparing them to manage a skid or hydroplaning incident before they are faced with such challenges alone.
You can play a big part in keeping your teen safe. To help you navigate through this important milestone in your child's life, the tips above are provided for you, covering everything from safety to saving money on car insurance for teenage drivers. Have a safe road trip!
Read more of these tips at Consumer Reports.
Image Source: Insurance Journal