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Your teen has reached driving age, a milestone filled with both excitement and a healthy dose of worry. As parents, we want our teens to experience the freedom and independence that comes with driving, but safety remains paramount. Here at Ruhmann Law Firm, we understand your concerns. This guide offers practical tips to help your teen become a confident and safe driver.

Help My Teen Driver Be Safe on the Road

Lead by Example

Long before your teen gets behind the wheel, they’re absorbing your driving habits. Buckle up every time, every ride. Avoid distractions like using your phone while driving. Talk openly about the dangers of speeding, running red lights, and driving under the influence. These small actions plant the seeds of safe driving habits for your teen.

As mentioned, kids are always watching, so practice what you preach behind the wheel. Avoid distractions like eating, using your phone, or fiddling with the radio when driving with your teen. Obey traffic laws yourself. Your calm demeanor will help them stay composed.

Set Clear Rules and Expectations

Having an open discussion and setting ground rules is crucial before handing over the keys. Establish guidelines like:

  • No phone use while driving (including hands-free)
  • Mandatory seatbelt use for the driver and all passengers
  • Obeying all traffic laws like speed limits and stop signs
  • Limiting night driving and the number of passengers
  • Zero tolerance for alcohol or drug use

Put consequences in place if rules are broken, such as temporarily revoking driving privileges. Getting on the same page builds good habits early.

Help Them Understand the Rules of the Road

Do not rely solely on driver’s education courses. Knowledge is an ongoing process. Familiarize yourself with your state’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, which typically involve restrictions for new teen drivers, such as nighttime limitations and passenger restrictions. Discuss these rules with your teen and explain the reasoning behind them.

Supervised Driving Sessions

The more comfortable your teen is behind the wheel, the better equipped they are to handle situations on the road. Start in quiet areas with low traffic volumes. Gradually increase complexity by practicing in different weather conditions, on highways, and at night (once permitted). These sessions allow you to provide real-time guidance and correct any bad habits.

Pick a Safe Car

A used car might seem appealing on a tight budget, but make safety a priority. Opt for a vehicle with enhanced safety features like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and plenty of airbags. Avoid smaller cars, as they provide less protection in a crash. Check crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety before buying.

Talking About Road Safety

Open communication is vital in preparing your teen for the road. Here are some key topics to discuss:

  • The dangers of impaired driving: Explain the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even fatigue.
  • Distraction hazards: Talk about the dangers of texting, talking on the phone, or eating while driving. Emphasize the importance of staying focused on the road.
  • Following the rules of the road: Review traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices. Consider practicing defensive driving techniques like maintaining a safe following distance and being aware of blind spots.
  • Handling difficult situations: Discuss what to do in bad weather, encountering aggressive drivers, or if the car breaks down.
  • The importance of car maintenance: Explain the importance of regular checkups and basic maintenance tasks like checking tire pressure and fluid levels.

Stay Involved

Even after licensing, continue the dialogue about safe driving practices. Do spot quizzes to reinforce the rules of the road. Go over close calls and mistakes in a constructive way so your teen learns. Consider a fair reward system for following safety guidelines. Know your teen’s routes and check in frequently.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Driving gives teens a remarkable sense of independence but comes with huge responsibilities. When you set clear expectations, provide hands-on guidance, and serve as a positive driving role model, you can help your new driver make smart, safe choices behind the wheel.

Ruhmann Law Firm wishes all teen drivers and their families safety on the roads. If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, our experienced auto accident attorneys can advise you on your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by calling 915-206-5255 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are always here to help you!


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