A driver's license can bring your teen a new level of independence, but there are also risks. Statistics show that 50 percent of teenagers will be involved in a car accident before graduating high school. Car crashes account for the majority of teenage deaths and usually involve teens not wearing seat belts. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help keep your teen safe on the road.
One of the best ways to help your teen stay safe while driving is to go beyond the minimum license requirements in terms of education. While driver's license test books are useful, a law enforcement professional or speeding ticket lawyer will tell you that a safe-driving course provides far better preparation for teen drivers. They can even lower your teen's auto insurance premiums as well.
Many teens benefit from gradually earning car privileges rather than having complete driving autonomy right away. You may want to start off allowing daytime driving and then adding in night driving when your teen has proven his or her safe driving skills. Passengers can be extremely distracting, so you may want to limit the number of friends your teen may have in his or her car.
Your teen will pick up a lot of driving habits from watching how you handle your car. Be sure to practice safe driving techniques yourself. Follow speed limits, obey lights and stop signs, and avoid distractions such as texting and eating. Drive cautiously at all times, especially at night and during severe weather. Make sure to teach your teen how to react properly and safely in emergency situations.
Most teens show responsible driving behavior when they have a financial stake included with their vehicular privileges. Consider having your teen pay for part of the vehicle's purchase price or contribute to the auto insurance premium. You can also encourage routine contributions for gas and regular maintenance. Your teen will likely act more responsibly with his or her vehicle when there is a level of financial responsibility.