How to prepare your teen for their first year of driving

Being behind the wheel is definitively an exciting thing for teens; it may feel like a door is open to a world of independence. However they should know that with this freedom comes responsibility. They should be aware that a car is not only a transportation method, but when used recklessly it could even become a weapon. Which is why its vital to set some ground rules and explain to them that driving is a privilege and that they should always be careful in the road.

Parents should look into a parent-driver contract, which will allow them to make a deal with their teens to be safer and smarter drivers. Although a contract might seem like a formal thing to do, is a mere symbol for both parents and teenagers to assume responsibility on driving. It’s a pact made between parent and teenager that establishes that they would both follow rules safely, and trust each other in this process of learning and teaching.

After signing the contract with your teen and setting up some ground rules, make sure they know these tips for being safe drivers behind the wheel:

LEARNING TO DRIVE TAKES TIME AND PATIENCE.

No one is born being an expert at it, the more you get driving experience, the more confident and better that you’ll become.

YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE WEARING YOUR SEATBELT.

Besides it being the law, seat belts can make the difference between life and death. No matter where you are going or with whom; it can make the difference in case of an accident.

DON’T ALWAYS TRUST YOUR MIRRORS.

Your eyes are your guides, check over your shoulders if you need to.

AWARENESS IS VITAL.

You are not the only driver in the street, and therefore you can’t control what other people do behind the wheel. Always be cautious of what you do, and of what other people do.

ALWAYS USE YOUR SIGNALS.

Just as you don’t know what other drivers are going to do next, they don’t know your next move either. Always use your signals to avoid an accident, and so people around you can react on time regarding what you do. Something as simple as letting someone else where you are going can make a difference.

FOCUS

Friends or music are distracting. Although is very tempting to be driving your friends around, or blasting music really loud, this can be very distracting. While being behind the wheel your attention should be focused on what you are doing and only that.

NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING

The risk of talking or texting while driving is extremely high. It may cost you your life or somebody else’s. No text is worth a life. Teach them that the phone should not be used while driving at any time.

LIMIT THE NIGHT DRIVING.

Especially when you are new behind the wheel, driving at night can be risky since the vision is reduced.

SLOW DOWN.

There is no rush. Is better getting somewhere late, than never getting there. Teens tend to have that ‘need for speed’ which might turn them into reckless drivers without being aware of their surroundings.

LASTLY, FOR PARENTS: BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL.

Be the driver you want your child to be. Teens pick up on things, and copy their parent’s habits. If they see you texting, or driving recklessly, they are probably going to do the same thing. Your teen will drive the way you do, so be sure you are setting a right example for them before they even start driving.

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