One of the biggest milestones your child will have is getting their driver’s license. Children are intrigued by driving from the time they start walking. They imitate people they love when they are 3 years old, driving their Little Tykes Coop Car. They pretend they are driving when they are at the mall playing a driving video game. When they get older, they dream of driving places by themselves or with their friends, without you in the car.
As a parent, it can be hard to grasp that your child is growing up. And you may not want them to get into a car that they will drive because you fear for their safety. But this is one right of passage that many teenagers just can not wait to have. Here we will discuss the importance of driving safety, and go over things that every smart parent needs to know before allowing the car to be put into drive.
Enroll Your Child
When your child is at the age to drive, it is very important to enroll them in a driver’s education class or school. We would all like to think that every driver instructor has a passion for truly teaching a child how to drive safely, but unfortunately, not all driving classes are created equally. Some driving instructors just do not have the knack to work with kids. They may seem bossy, which is not what a teenage driver really needs. A teenage driver needs someone who will safely show them how to operate a car, and offer helpful tips.
When looking for a driver’s education class, ask around. Others that have a child older than yours will be able to offer suggestions. Ask not only the parents what they thought of the school and instructor, but also the teen that took the class. If the teenager says they did not like the class because they do not feel that they learned a lot, look elsewhere.
You can also ask the driver’s school if they have an orientation night. This is a great way to find out what will be taught during class hours, as well as what the instructors expect from the teens that are enrolled in the class. It will also give you, as the parent, a chance to meet the person that will teach your child a very important skill they will take with them for the rest of their lives.
Did you know that wearing a seat belt in the front seat can reduce the risk of a fatality by 45% if the car is in an accident? Or that rear passengers wearing a seat belt in an SUV can reduce a fatality by 73%? This is why one of the most important things you can teach your child is to buckle up. This means them, but also everyone in the car. Make it a rule that the car does not get put into drive unless all passengers have their seat belts on. Even those passengers in the back seat. If you start this rule early on before your child is ready to drive, it will come second nature to them.
Limit The Number of Passengers
You may wish to have the rule of limiting the number of passengers in the car with your teenage driver, especially when they will be driving by themselves with friends. The Law Firm of Greenberg Walden states it can be helpful to limit the amount of time your teen can drive their friends around until they have more experience driving. Many may not realize that teens are 8 times more likely to get into a car accident when they have two or more peers riding in the car with them.
No Use of Phones
Make it a rule for your teenager that when they are driving, they are not to be using their phone in any way. This means no phone calls, no texting, or no picture taking. While it may not be that big of a deal to them to glance away from the road for a second, that second is all it takes to wind up in the ditch or the other lane.
It is estimated that nearly 1.6 million car accidents happen each year due to texting, with one-quarter of all accidents on the road due to texting and driving. Over half of all teens say they have talked on the phone while driving, while 46% say they have texted while behind the wheel. If by chance you do not trust your child to not use their phone, there are many apps that can disable your teenager’s phone while the car is in motion.
Teaching your teenager to drive can really seem like a task. However, having a plan into place to teach your child how to drive is something that all smart parents have. Enroll your child into a high-quality driver’s school, and set forth a list of rules that must be followed each and every time the car is put into drive. This will ensure the safety of your children, as well as anyone else out on the road.