Teens Behind the Wheel: How to Ensure a Safe Trip
Let’s face it – teenagers can’t wait to get a driver’s license. The freedom that comes with being able to drive can do wonders for your teen’s confidence and psyche, but in truth, this “rite of passage” is also one of the most dangerous situations on the road today.
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For example, consider that in 2007, traffic collision were the leading fatality cause for 13-19 year olds in the U.S.! Such a number is staggering, and should give parents pause before sending their children out onto local streets or freeways. But, while such statistics can be concerning, numbers show that fatality totals for teenage drivers are steadily dropping. This can likely be attributed to better safety standards in vehicles, and a greater awareness in the education of teen drivers before sending them out on their own.
The California DMV provides a list of “concerns” that parents should discuss with their teens before allowing them to take the family car for a spin:
Role of Technology
When was the last time you didn’t see your teen’s face buried in a mobile device? The emergence of mobile technology has offered incredible opportunity for global communication, but are these same devices creating safety concerns for teenage drivers? In a recent poll, which was anonymous, of course, 3 out of 4 teens admitted to texting while driving! This is one of the leading causes of teen accidents today.
As parents, discussing the dangers of such behaviors with your teen can increase on-road safety…for them and everyone else!
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a great piece about how to approach the subject with your children, and what to discuss:
Remember Driver's Ed?
Driver’s education courses have dwindled in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still serve a valuable purpose! Parents that take the time to explore the nuances of safe driving with their children can give their teens a solid foundation regarding the responsibilities of driving, and how to ensure that they and their passengers get where they’re going safely.
The following sites are great “teen driving safety” resources – use them!
- The Keys to Defensive Driving
- Teen Driver Safety
- Talking with Teens About Safe Driving
- Info on Distracted Driving
The Power of a Conversation
Talk to your teens about driving. Much like everything else, awareness can go a long way toward ensuring safety and preventing “mishaps” that could lead to disastrous results. Teen accident rates increase with each passenger in the car. This is likely due to distraction. By taking a proactive approach to driving safety with your teen, you can help arm them with the necessary knowledge to remain a safe driver for themselves and everyone else!
This video from Century Council is a sound resource on the subject:
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