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What can parents do to help teenage drivers stay safe?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Every year, the authorities send out reminders that this time of summer is called “the 100 deadliest days” for teen drivers for a reason. The annual spike in fatal crashes occurs every year when a wave of teens hits the road with their newly-minted licenses for the summer.

Driving takes experience and maturity to do well. Teenagers have not had time to build up hours behind the wheel and many lack maturity, especially boys.

Getting a license does not mean someone is a good driver

To get a driving license, you need to pass a theoretical and practical test. Any student knows that you can cram to pass a written test yet not remember any of it a few weeks later. As for practical tests, knowing how to act to pass a test does not guarantee how you will act after.

Getting a driving license means they were good enough to pass on the day — nothing more than that. As the parent of a young driver, you can do a few things to help keep them safe:

  • Check up on their driving: Let your child drive you places, so you can assess their safety and help them improve.
  • Expand their range gradually: Start your child off driving short distances at quiet times of the day. Night driving, long distances, heavy traffic and powerful cars all require more experience.
  • Establish some ground rules: Make it clear you have no tolerance for horseplay in the car with their friends, texting behind the wheel or other types of distracted driving.

Helping your child improve their driving skills is only part of the equation. They need to understand that other drivers may not be so careful, regardless of age or experience. Consider paying for a defensive driving course for your child. While it is an extra cost, it will be worth it if it avoids you having to claim compensation because someone has injured your child in a crash.