6 Potential Life Saving Tips When Your Child Starts Driving

Teen in the car with an adult learning to drive
6 Potential Life Saving Tips When Your Child Starts Driving

The fact is that the statistics on young drivers and injuries from auto accidents are alarming. As a parent, you must be ready for the day your child begins to drive. In reality, the more you prepare your child for that day, the better.  

As they gain experience driving, your participation in these essential stages will play a key role in their ability to drive safely and avoid any emergencies or accidents. The article that follows will outline six potentially life-saving tips you can do as a parent when your child starts driving to increase the likelihood of success and decrease the risk of a frightful incident. 

1. Educate, Educate, Educate. 

While all of these tips are valuable, this one earns the number one spot simply because it is so vital to have knowledge of your vehicle and the road. As an experienced driver, some things that may seem common knowledge are completely foreign to a new vehicle operator. This ranges from maintenance of your vehicle, understanding tire pressure, where the gas tank is, and what type of fuel to use, all the way to understanding what each street sign means.  

Another important thing to teach your young driver is what to do in an emergency should it happen. Everything from what to do with being pulled over, or if you are in an accident. Having an accident checklist on hand could prove to be a useful tool here.  

2. Practice Extensively

Remember the first few times you tried something new? You weren’t very good at it were you? Practicing with your new driver will help gain valuable experience with varying conditions naturally making them a better vehicle operator. Practice regularly and applaud improving performance.  

It is also suggested to practice in different conditions. Make sure they gain experience on highways, back roads, and cities. Also, take them out when it is raining, dark, or anytime when conditions are not perfect. This will allow you to teach them different strategies for less than ideal conditions should they find themselves on the road during these times.  

3. Communicate 

Expressing your concerns and wishes may seem like it’s falling on deaf ears with teens, but the alternative of not communicating with your child would be your hope that they are a mind-reader. They’re not.  

Talk with them about the dangers of the road. How to not be reactionary to tailgaters, and aggressive drivers, to not be an aggressive driver. Kids are sponges, so while it may not seem like you are getting through, your words will resonate at some level  

4. Be a Good Example 

Let’s go back to the last sentence… kids are sponges. So if they see you driving smart, subconsciously they will see that as the way you are supposed to be operating a vehicle. However, if they notice that you are texting while driving, eating while rushing down the road, speeding, and cursing at everyone in your way, odds are this is going to be how your child will drive too.  

5. Remove Potential Distractions 

Statistics show that you are anywhere from 3 to 8 times more likely to get into an accident when distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or eating. Match that with an inexperienced operator and that number skyrockets. Removing distractions from the vehicle will greatly reduce the risk of an accident.  

Your insurance carrier may have a feature on their app that will disable texting and calls while driving. There are also numerous options in the google or apple app store that does this as well. Safe 2 Drive is a popular one that is rated well, but you can research and find the perfect fit for you.  

6. Use Your Insurance Carriers Telematics Programs 

This is actually one of my favorites for new drivers and the parents of new drivers. It is really a win-win. Think about it, if the young driver knows that their actions are being monitored, the less likely they are to drive erratically thus greatly reducing the risk of an accident.  As the parent, you have access to the monitoring online and you can advise as needed based off of the information you receive. Match that with an added discount on your auto insurance and it is a great recipe for success.   

It might be stressful when your children begin to drive. However, there is a strong chance that your child will develop into a safe driver with the right preparation and guidance from you as the parents, and both of you will be able to benefit from this.

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