Teenagers are drivers that pose the biggest risks for other motorists and and even themselves. The reason behind this is that teenagers are easily distracted, and they can be so caught up with their activities they tend to think little of their own safety and the safety of others on the road.
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Another thing that makes teenagers a danger when they’re behind the wheel is that they could be driving recklessly or even missing curfews. As a parent, this can be your worst nightmare and simply grounding these teens may not be enough. Be smart and enforce rules to prevent any of this from happening in the first place.
To help you set rules, here are some ideas that you may want to incorporate.
1. Eliminate distractions
Teenagers get distracted by phone notifications that they disregard the fact they are driving just so they can check their phone. This practice is so bad, and sometimes, adults find themselves guilty of it as well. To be able to avoid any road side accidents, it is important to stay vigilant while on the wheel, which means that even Bluetooth headsets should not be used unless the call is an emergency.
There are mobile applications in the market that ensure safe driving and discourage texting or checking your phone. Find one that can be installed in your smartphone to be able to control your urge to check your mobile phone while you’re behind the wheel.
2. Follow state rules for passengers
There are different state rules imposed on the number of passengers allowed to ride on a single vehicle. The first thing you need to know is to help your teen familiarize with those rules first and assist in deciding how many passengers they can have considering the fact they are new drivers. Remind them that as they grow in experience, they can have more friends ride, without forgetting to remind them all the time that they should continue being responsible when it comes to driving.
3. Driving at night
Nighttime driving can be intimidating, and while there are not many state rules that apply to how long teenagers can be on the road, parents should still set a curfew for young drivers. Driving at night is way more challenging than during the day time because of limited vision and many reckless drivers under the influence tend to rampage the roads at night.
4. Regulate speeding
Remind your kids that speeding results in an array of consequences like accidents and getting a ticket, or you can make your own strict consequences in case you get reports of them violating traffic rules. To be able to monitor the speed that your teen is running the vehicle at, install a GPS tracker. A good example here is Trackimo—it not only provides the location of the vehicle but also a speed report that is readable via a mobile application.
5. Remind about the importance of seat belts
Teenagers don’t wear seat belts, so never stop discussing with them the importance of fastening it. You can hardly find a state in America that doesn’t fine drivers who don’t wear safety belts. But overall, it isn’t just about the risk of having to pay a hefty amount of $200, but all boils down to being aware of their safety on the road.
6. Never drink and drive
Drinking even in little amounts is extremely dangerous, and anyone who drives under the influence of either drugs or alcohol are treading toward death. In case they do find themselves having alcohol in their system, make it a point that they should call you or an authorized adult to drive them home instead. When having them agree to this safety method, promise them that punishment will not follow as it is better to be responsible enough to have someone pick them up rather than risk any accidents.
7. School and responsibilities
Parents can use driving as a positive reinforcement in exchange of doing well in school and being responsible enough to hold on their own. This develops trust between you and your teen and shows them that they can be awarded for good behavior.
8. Maintaining the vehicle
Because they are given driving privileges, this should mean that they are aware of maintaining the vehicle as well. Do assist when it comes to monetary requirements, especially in the event of having some car parts repaired. A few things to keep in mind include tire pressure, fluid checking, and even oil change. Your teen must be well aware of all these so they know what to check in case the car breaks down.
9. Setting rules depending on weather conditions
Certain weather conditions can be dangerous for driver, regardless if they are experienced or not. If they find themselves on the road while there is a storm, it is always best to leave the driveway and take shelter someplace safe.
When it comes to ensuring safety, it is not enough to have simple parent-teen agreements. You will need to resort to technology to aid you in monitoring your teenager on the road. Reliable GPS trackers like Trackimo will keep your teenager self as you will be able to receive real-time notifications on their whereabouts and distress alerts.
Do everything to keep your teen safe, and once you have established a system with them, handing them the car keys won’t be such a hard task in the future.