Back to school season is here, which means some of you may be getting ready for your teen to begin taking driver’s education classes. Having a new driver in the family can feel scary, as it gives you one more thing to worry about when they aren’t safe at home. The Centers for Disease Control notes that young drivers are at an increased risk of vehicle accidents. In fact, the age group of 16-19 is at the highest risk among any other age range. Here is what you can do to keep your new driver safer behind the wheel.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Driver’s education classes are great and your teen will get time behind the wheel. However, you should be adding to their driving time as well, getting in the passenger seat and allowing them to practice this new skill. Take your teen out when it is raining and snowing, at nighttime and at dusk, and when the road conditions are less than perfect. Practice driving around the neighborhood and in parking lots, on the interstate and on rural roads. The more experience they have in different scenarios, the better equipped they can be for various scenarios.
Be a Good Role Model
Distracted driving is a serious epidemic among drivers of all ages. Be sure you are setting a good example when you are driving with your teen (and always). Put your phone away any time you are in the car and encourage your teen driver to do the same. Note distracted drivers you see on the road and speak candidly about the serious risk checking a text message can be.
Know What to Do in an Emergency
No matter how prepared your teen driver is, they may be involved in an accident during their first few years of driving. Talk to your teen about what to do in case of an emergency, including to call first responders if needed and to exchange insurance information with others involved. It is also wise to update your family’s relationship with a personal injury attorney, just in case services are ever required.
Stay safe out there!