Parents have even more to worry about from the moment a teenager gets their license and begins this new independent stage. A lot can happen on busy roads and new drivers are at a much higher risk of making a mistake that could lead to a tragedy. It is up to parents to teach them how to drive defensively and how to respond if an accident takes place. From Are We There Yet To Taking The Wheel Teaching Your Teen How To Deal With Disaster On The Road, here are some tips for the parents of new drivers.
Give Them Experience
Teens must spend a lot of time behind the wheel before they qualify to test for their license. Parents need to make certain these hours behind the wheel include a variety of driving conditions. Drive in bad weather, after dark and in heavy traffic. It is better for them to learn how to manage new driving challenges with an adult next to them.
Set Strict Rules
Many accidents happen because of distracted driving. Enforce a no-phone rule by insisting that phones be placed in the glove box or on the back seat while they are on the road. Insist they pull into a parking lot if they must make a call or check to see who sent a text. Make certain they understand the importance of paying attention to everything around them while they drive. Do not allow them to transport pets or friends until they can do so without distraction.
Create Emergency Plans
An emergency kit is useful if a breakdown or accident occurs. Set an order for the calls they should make during an emergency situation. For example, if it is an accident they should call the police first and then a parent. Talk to them about waiting in a safe area, away from traffic, while waiting for an emergency responder. Additional instructions could include taking photos of the damage and staying off the phone in case anyone calls back for a location or other important details.
Disasters almost always have a happier ending when the people involved are calm and prepared. Knowing what to do and handling those tasks are the best way to keep anyone in a stressful situation calm. Be honest with teen drivers about the risks of being on the road, but also be honest with the expectations for their driving standards.