Things Parents Should Teach Teens About Driving

Things Parents Should Teach Teens About Driving

Just yesterday they were learning to walk. Now your child is ready to hit the highway. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t need to be. Your teen has already shown they know enough about the rules of the road for the state to trust them, so now it’s your turn. Talk about the rules for your household. Remember, among the many things parents should teach teens about driving, the biggest and best lesson is patience.

Talk, Don’t Nag

When you have the talk about driving, make sure it’s a conversation, not a lecture. Kids will shut off if they feel they’re being talked down to, so keep things civil and respectful. That said, let it be known that driving is a privilege, not a right, and it can be taken away if they don’t follow the rules you both agree on. Also, set the rules for being home by a specific time, looking after the car and keeping the tank full, and respecting the rules of the road.

Do as You Say

The best way to teach kids is by example, and the worst way to teach is to say one thing and do another. Your child has watched you drive ever since they were sitting in a child seat in the back. Were you always respectful of other drivers? Did you give in to road rage or perform dangerous maneuvers just to get a few cars ahead? It’s never too late to be a conscientious driver and thus an example for your child when they take the wheel.

Absolutely, Positively No Drinking, Drugs, or Texting

If there’s one thing you need to put your foot down about, it’s this: driving while impaired or distracted has a no-tolerance policy but when you get charges, it is beneficial for you to seek out DUI defense attorneys to represent you. For one thing, the law is very clear. No drinking until you’re 21, and absolutely no one should drive while drunk or even “a little buzzed” (and it’s guaranteed you’ll hear that excuse). Make the consequences of drunk driving or driving while texting clear: at best, you’ll ground them, at worst they can suffer damage to their reputation, arrest, injury, or even death.

Buckle Up

One of the biggest things parents should teach teens about driving: seatbelts save lives and driving without one is a punishable offense. Possibly by the police and definitely by you. Tell them getting caught unbuckled incurs financial penalties in most states, and that’s fun money out of their pocket, not yours.

Let Them Know You Love Them

Statistics show that in 2018, the death rate for teenaged male drivers was twice that of female teen drivers. Similarly, the risk of a crash rises with the number of teens in a car driven by a teenager. Crashes are also more likely within the first few months of a teen getting their license. These statistics aren’t intended to scare either of you, but you should both take them to heart, and remember that whoever is behind the wheel, the other person is depending on them to be safe!

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