How to Talk to Your Teen About Safe Driving
Discussing safe driving with teens may help parents protect them from some risks facing young drivers. People often want their kids to enjoy the new freedom that driving themselves brings. However, many parents also still worry about sending teen drivers out on the road by themselves.
Educating Young Drivers About the Risks
Talking about the possible dangers and how to avoid them is an important conversation for parents to have with their young drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that on average, hundreds of teens suffered injuries and seven died in motor vehicle accidents each day in 2019. The following tips may help parents create an open dialog with their kids about safe driving behaviors and reduce the risk of potentially serious or deadly crashes.
Communicating with teens sometimes seems like a tightrope act — balancing between having a meaningful talk and pushing them to boredom or rebellion. For some, learning about the dangers of driving together helps open the lines of communication and get across the importance of avoiding hazards, such as speeding, distractions, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Rather than talking to their teens about the importance of safe driving, parents should talk with them. For example, parents may ask their kids what they already know about driving risks or what they would do if certain hazards popped up while driving. Taking this approach helps parents make talks about driving safety feel less like lectures, which make their teens more likely to engage instead of shutting down.
Setting an Example
When behind the wheel themselves, parents ought to set a good example for their teens by using the safe driving practices they talk about. It may not always seem like it, but kids often follow the lead of their parents. Therefore, by doing things like wearing a seatbelt, staying off the phone while driving, and obeying the street signs and signals, parents encourage their kids to do the same without saying a word.
Working with their children before they get their driver’s licenses, as well as after they get them, may help create respect for their responsibility when behind the wheel. Teens injured in auto wrecks may experience life-changing effects; however, options exist for them to recover the compensation for their accident-associated losses.