Teens and Driving Safety
How to keep your teen safe behind the wheel
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of fatalities for teens. Inexperience, speeding, and unsafe driving behavior put teenage drivers and their passengers at risk. To reduce the risk of accidents, parents should discuss with their teens how to stay safe in car.
Tips to keep your teenage driver safe
- Sign a driving contract or agreement with your teen. This is a document that he signs agreeing to abide by driving safety rules that you and he have agreed upon. The document should state that if he breaks any part of the contract, he risks loosing driving privileges. The contract can include statements about not drinking and driving, how many people he can have in the car, how far he can take the car, who can drive the car when he has it, and any time restrictions on when he have access to the vehicle.
- Set a good example for your teen by always following the rules of the road yourself and being a courteous driver.
- Remind your teen that driving is a privilege , not a right, and it can be taken away.
- Buckle up! Remind your teen that wearing a seatbelt is the law and that all pasengers must be buckled before he drives away.
- Set a driving curfew. Some states have driving curfews for teens. Discuss this with your teen and set your own curfew that both you and your teen feel are reasonable.
- Teach your teen being responsible for the wellbeing of the car by sharing proper car maintenance tips like getting the oil changed, keeping the windows and mirrors clean, removing trash from the car, and so forth.
- Be sure both you and your teen are aware of the driving regulations in your state, such as any driving curfews or restrictions on the age limit of passengers she can have in her car.
- When you and your teen go out, let him drive so you can see how he is driving and if he is being conscientious to the rules of the road and other motorists.
Reprinted with the permission of the One Tough Job campaign. © Children's Trust Fund of Massachusetts 2007. All rights reserved.
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