October 17, 2017

Teaching Your Teen to Drive Safely

Friday, April 4th, 2008 9:34 pm

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If you are the parent of a teen that is getting ready to start driving, you are probably feeling like a raw bundle of nerves.  After all, your child will soon be on the road and will be at a greater risk of getting hurt in an accident or hurting someone else.  In addition, the auto insurance rates are likely to be through the roof.  Thankfully, in order to help keep your child safe and to keep the insurance rates reasonable, there are several safety steps you can take.

Experience Counts
Research shows that one of the main reasons teens are in more accidents than other age groups is simply because they have a lack of experience.  As a parent, you can take steps to make certain your teen has plenty of experience before he or she drives solo.

Obviously, your teen will be getting only supervised driving hours while he or she is carrying a driver’s permit, but you should continue to provide supervision even after the permit is earned.  In reality, you should continue to supervise your teen driver until you feel that he or she has gained sufficient experience. If the thought of getting behind the wheel with your teen when he or she is first learning to drive makes you nervous, you should also seriously consider enrolling your teen in a driver’s education class.  Not only will this extra driving practice help to reduce the risk of accident, many insurance companies will also give you a break in insurance after successfully completing one of these programs.

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Consider the Environment
Until your teen has gained experience and confidence, you should avoid letting him or her drive alone in poor weather conditions and at night.  Ideally, you should provide your teen with several supervised driving experiences in adverse weather conditions such as snow, rain, fog, and ice.  The same is true with night driving.  Frighteningly, approximately half of fatal vehicle accidents that involve teens occur during nighttime hours.

Reward Safety
As your teenager continues to prove that he or she is driving safely, you should slowly begin lifting restrictions.  By rewarding safe driving, your teen learns the joys of driving safely and gets a boost to his or her confidence.  At the same token, there should be repercussions for violating your rules or the laws of the road.  Driving privileges should be revoked according to the violation so your teen learns that driving safely is not an option but an absolute must.

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