Hance’s Uptown shares tips on way to help your teen driver avoid a collision. It is important to talk to them about being safe.
Do you have a teen in your home who just got their license or who will be getting it soon? This can be terrifying for you as a parent, but it’s an exciting rite of passage for teenagers who crave independence. However, with that independence comes a lot of risk as they navigate the roadways. Sometimes, accidents happen that require body repair work. While your first instinct is to make sure they’re OK, the resulting damage to the vehicle can be very inconvenient and expensive to fix.
As a parent, here’s how you can help your novice driver prevent an accident.
Ease their Minds
While your teen driver may be chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel, they may also feel anxious about this new responsibility. They may not come out and tell you that, which is why you should take the time to ease their anxiety. Tell them you recognize how stressful driving can be, which can increase the likelihood of getting into an accident on busy roads. Let your teen know it’s OK to pull over (where safe to do so) and let traffic pass if they are feeling pressured or rushed.
Discourage use of Smart Phones
No driver should be on their phone while behind the wheel, but this is especially important for teens. Cell phone use is one of the top causes of distracted driving crashes in this country. Encourage your teen from using the phone while driving – even with hands-free options — because their attention can still be divided. They may want to put their phone on the back seat or in the glove compartment so it’s there for an emergency but they can’t easily be tempted to use it while driving.
Limit how Many Passengers they Have
Too many teens in one car can be a recipe for disaster, especially when the music is pumping and everyone’s talking. According to the CDC, the presence of teen passengers in the car will increase the crash risk of any unsupervised teen drivers, with that risk increasing even more with each additional teen passenger. Some states prohibit new drivers within the first six months to drive passengers that are not related to them. This means that for the first half year they have a license, they can only drive family members.
Limit Night Time Driving
In addition to restricting where your teen can drive, you should also limit night driving if possible, unless their job requires it. Keep in mind that many fatal accidents occur at night. That’s because it’s harder to see at night, making driving more challenging, especially for teens who don’t have a lot of experience. Discourage your teen from driving unsupervised after 10 p.m. Some states even have curfews in place for new drivers, not allowing them to drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. or midnight and 5 a.m. This will also give you peace of mind as a parent that you can use the law to back up your concerns and rules.
Make Seat Belt use Mandatory
Teach your teens that the first thing they need to do when getting behind the wheel is to buckle up. Let them know that in addition to being the law, wearing a seat belt can save their life or reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident. And this goes for everyone in the vehicle – not just the driver.
Model Good Driving Habits
Being a parent means modeling good behavior – in all aspects of life. When you show them how to be a good driver with your own actions, they are more likely to model that behavior on their own. Do your part by not texting and driving, wearing a seatbelt, and not speeding when rushed. Hopefully, they will remember that when they’re behind the wheel themselves.
Follow these tips to ensure the safety of your teen driver and give you peace of mind when they drive off into the sunset.
Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center
We hope it never happens, but if your teen is ever in an unfortunate accident that requires body work, come to the best. We will take care of you! Just contact us in Dallas or Plano today or you can schedule an appointment online.