Remember the good old days when you could be carefree, young and a brand new 16 years old? Finally turning old enough to have your own car seems like it’s the life, but driving as a teen has a huge amount of responsibility.
Chances are that parents have heard the stories, seen the statistics and maybe even firsthand witnessed teen driving incidents. Well, that’s because traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Crazy story, teens are actually participants of 3 times as many accidents that end in fatalities as all other drivers – Yikes!
Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 5,000 teens are killed in vehicle crashes. Now, we’re not saying that these stats should keep your kids inside and immobile forever, but set some rules that constantly remind them of safe driving. Whether you’re a new driver or a pro, these tips should keep you safe on the roads.
- Click it or ticket! The carshould stay parked until everyone’s buckled in. This not only helps during accidents, it could keep the driver from getting a ticket. Whether you know it or not, even if you’re not the one unbuckled, if you’re the driver, the ticket is yours.
- No alcohol or drugs. Be sure to explain that the driver is responsible for what’s in the car even if it’s not theirs.
- No texting and driving. Same rule applies for talking on the phone, checking email, making a Snapchat video, etc. If it’s something major, have another passenger handle it.
- No speeding.
- Stay alert. Driving when you’re tired not only slows down reaction time, it impairs judgment and can be similar to driving under the influence.
- Drive defensively. The best thing my dad always taught me when I was a beginner was to partially drive for myself on the road, but mainly drive for everybody else. This means that as you drive, you should anticipate everybody else around you not knowing the rules of the road.
- Pay attention. Seriously, pay attention.Driving is an important responsibility and the way you learn to drive early on is how you may always drive. Taking classes at a driving school is almost a surefire way to make sure new drivers know the rules and that driving veterans know any driving rule updates. As you get closer and closer to your first car, remember that driving is not owed to you – it’s a privilege. Stay safe wherever you go.