If you’re a parent with a teen approaching driving age, you’re probably feeling some serious trepidation. That’s a perfectly healthy response!
Teen driving presents many dangers. In 2010, 2,700 teenagers died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. Another 282,000 were treated for serious and even debilitating injuries resulting from automobile accidents.
In general, driving-age teens are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than drivers 20 and older.
Bucking the Trend
It can be challenging deciding how to approach important milestones in the life of your teenager—especially when it comes to the freedom and potential peril of operating a motor vehicle.
But parents are the first line of defense when it comes to teen driving safety, according to a video published by CDCtv.
You can make a difference for your budding driver. Show him the facts about teen driving, so he can gauge for himself the seriousness of the situation.
Tell him you trust him to understand that it’s his life he handles when he gets on the road. Tell him: Among teen drivers, statisticians observed that the rate of fatality resulting from vehicle crash was nearly twice as high among males than females.
Additionally, teens driving their peers are more likely to get into accidents due to distracting behaviors.
The Parent-teen Driver Contract: An Effective Strategy
As teens approach driving age, parents will naturally concern themselves with establishing appropriate boundaries.
Helping your teen understand his responsibilities in well-defined terms takes the guesswork out of the complexities of parental expectations and can delineate the consequences if expectations aren’t met.
A parent-teen driver contract can be a useful tool for parents looking ahead. Contracts should specify expectations and consequences, but also enumerate how the driver’s freedoms will increase within a specified time period as trustworthy behavior is noted.
All states require proper licensing before an individual may legally operate a vehicle on public roads. Most states have implemented a graduated permit for teen drivers allowing for an increase in freedom after specifics are met.
Online permit practice tests can help your teen prepare for licensing and can be customized according to each state’s particular regulations. You may wish to attempt one of the practice exams to familiarize yourself with the information your child should know.
Understanding the test can help you coach your teenager through the rigor of preparing for the examination.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you choose to help prepare your teen to safely operate within the legally established driving guidelines, it is imperative you share all the facts that relate to the choices they make when they get behind the wheel.
You are your teen driver’s No. 1 ally.