Most of us are aware that car accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths, more so than alcohol, drugs, and suicide. It is also a fact that adolescent drivers account for more road accidents than any other age group. Teens are more vulnerable to these unfortunate events because they are inexperienced, and they are more likely to drive aggressively, forget to wear their seat belts, and take for granted the importance of proper car maintenance.
As a parent, does that mean that you must prohibit your teen from getting behind the wheel? Should you compel them to ride public transportation instead? Not necessarily. You can teach your teenager the following rules and safe driving tips to help improve your child’s driving safety.
Proper Car Maintenance: The first thing that you must teach your teenager when they get their first car is the proper way to maintain their vehicle. Remember that a safe car with safety equipments and properly maintained parts can keep them safe while on the road. Here are a few car maintenance tips for your teen:
- Your teen must read the driver’s manual. He will find important information on all the features and operating parts of their vehicle in it. He will also find proper maintenance tips, such as the type of oil recommended for the vehicle, tire pressure, and so on.
- Teach your teen to check his car regularly: You must tell him to inspect the car’s fluid levels, windshield wiper condition, lights, and tire pressure before they take their car out for a drive. These basic inspections won’t take long and can go a long way in keeping him safe.
- Remind your adolescent to bring his car in for regular servicing. The professional mechanic can check the condition of the vehicle’s belts, brakes, air filter, and fluids.
In addition to properly maintaining the car, your teen must also have the following items case of emergency:
- Inflated spare tire and jack
- Flashlight and tool kit
- Jumper cables
- First-aid kit
- Flares or other devices to alert other drivers in case his car breaks down
Familiarize Rules Of The Road: Before you even hand out the car keys to your teenager, you must make sure that he is aware of the traffic rules and signs. Make him understand that disobeying the rules will not only result to traffic violations but can also lead to life changing consequences.
- Reckless and improper driving
- Hit and run accidents
- Driving while drunk
- Running a red light.
Wear Seatbelt: Many teenagers take for granted this basic safety rule. Your teenager must understand that the seatbelt is a car safety feature that prevents major injuries, such as head injury and bone fractures.
Cell Phones Must Be Turned Off: Most teenagers cannot keep their attention off their cellular phones; however, while driving, it must be turned off to minimize distractions. You must tell your child to keep his phone off and avoid texting while driving. He must understand that texting or using mobile phones while driving can lead to fatal consequences. A lot can go wrong in the five seconds of being distracted.
Don’t Drink And Drive: This is the most basic rule when driving, and your adolescent must also be aware of it. Even a small amount of alcohol in their blood can affect their reflexes and decision making capability. When he drinks and drives, he will endanger himself as well as other people. The same goes with taking illegal substances and driving.
These are just a few of the basic rules of the road which you must teach your child. Children who are at the legal age to drive around town must also understand the huge responsibility of being the one behind the wheel.
This guest post is written by Kris Lim a writer for parenting blogs where she offers safe driving tips for teens.