How To Teach Your Teen To Be A Responsible Driver
Most parents will feel a lot of strong and mixed emotions about responsible driving when their teenagers start learning to drive. As a parent, we feel excited for our teens when they reach this rite of passage. Learning to drive is a big step towards independence, and getting a driving license could be one of the first stages on the way to being an adult. However, the idea of your child being in charge of a car and out on the road can also be worrying and a bit scary.
These mixed feelings are part of the gift and the curse of being a parent. You need to be able to let go of everything that you do for your child and allow them to fly the nest when they’re ready. This doesn’t mean that you can’t help them to gain that strength they will need to leave and prepare them as best as you can. Teaching them to be a responsible driver will help them to be safer on the roads, and will also give you some peace of mind. With this advice, you can help them to be a responsible driver.
Help Them Understand The Finances
Owning and operating a car is about a lot more than just the time your spend actually driving it on the roads. It is also important that your teenager is able to build a mature and responsible understanding of the other investments that they will need to make and what costs are involved with being a car owner.
They will need to understand road tax, likely maintenance costs, and the valuation of cars, as well as the waste of money that can come with buying a new car. These lessons can also include teaching them about your own experiences with the cost of car repairs so they can avoid being taken advantage of as a new driver. When they feel secure in managing their finances, they will be in a better place to take proper care of their car.
Teach Them To Set Ground Rules
One of the most exciting parts of owning a car for your teen will be having more freedom and being able to drive with their friends. However, this can also lead to some difficult social situations. Teach them to confidently set ground rules for the friends they ride with (if you decide to allow them to give their friends lifts), such as no rides without offering fuel money, no smoking or drinking in the car, or no loud music. Teach them how important is to take it seriously if they are chosen to be the designated driver on a night out. With these rules in place, they are more likely to drive safely, avoid accidents, and not need help from you and car accident lawyers.
Teach Them Car Maintenance
Teach your teen some practical measures and everyday car maintenance. If you aren’t sure how to maintain your own car yourself, this is something you could learn together. Learning how to do things like changing a tire, checking the oil, recognizing what different engine lights mean, and speaking to a mechanic is very useful. Having a few of these skills will help them to save some money and could prevent them from encountering issues while they’re on the road. There’s no reason not to know how to do these things when all they take is a little care and attention. Looking after their car will help your teen to build a sense of responsibility for their vehicle and driving it, which is what you want.
Supervise Their Driving
Before you allow your teenager to start taking the car out by themselves, make sure you make a few supervised outings first. You can take your teen somewhere that doesn’t have a lot of traffic. Let them practice their driving until they feel comfortable and you can see they’re being responsible. Until you feel as though they are handling the vehicle and the road responsibly, don’t allow them to drive by themselves. Make sure your child pays attention when you drive too. Be a good role model and drive responsibly too to set a good example.
Teach Them To Watch For Others
It’s important that your teen understands how to drive a vehicle safely, but it is also important that your teen knows how to look out for other road users. Drivers need to be aware of cyclists, for example, and understand the precautions that should be taken to avoid endangering them. There are also motorcyclists, pedestrians, and construction vehicles that they will need to look out for.
Consider Banning Driving With Friends
When your teen first begins to drive, consider not letting them drive around with friends until they have been driving for a little while. Talking, music, and phones can all make for dangerous distractions. Let your teen take the car to work or school alone, to begin with, or send them out to run some quick errands for you. As they build their responsibility and experience, you can give them more freedom as they earn it.
Be A Good Driver Yourself
One of the most effective ways to help your teenager to become a safe, responsible driver is to show how to drive like on by doing it yourself. Being a good example is needed if you want your teen to drive safely. A good way to start doing this is to chat about your decisions as you drive, such as pointing out the speed limit and sticking to it. Stress how important it is to always wear your seatbelt, and wear it. You can do a lot of other things to model safe driving too, such as never using your phone while you drive, always stopping at stop signs, and so on. Some of these actions seem like common sense, but many of us have picked up bad habits in our years of driving that can be easy to accidentally teach to your teen driver. Be a good driver, and they are more likely to be one too.