Obtaining a driver’s license does not automatically mean your teenage child will automatically make appropriate decisions on the road. You must play an active role in helping your child develop good driving habits that last a lifetime.
These are some helpful tips for guiding your child toward becoming a responsible driver.
Be an example
As a parent, you influence your children from the moment they are born and whether you realize it or not, they model your behavior. Therefore, practicing safe driving habits whenever you are driving with your children as passengers will remind them to do the same.
Provide a safe vehicle
A newly licensed teen should drive a vehicle that provides optimum protection. A medium or large-size car with airbags and advanced safety features can minimize serious injuries.
Reinforce road safety
Safe driving involves anticipating and reacting to sudden and perilous road conditions. Enroll yourself and your teen in one of California’s Start Smart new driver safety classes hosted by your local California Highway Patrol office. The two-hour session focuses on avoiding highway collisions.
Discuss passenger etiquette
Instruct your child to remind passengers to refrain from engaging in horse-play, speaking and arguing loudly, or any distracting behaviors. Of course, driving while using a cell phone is unacceptable except during emergencies.
Communicate your expectations clearly
According to annual reports from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, teenagers have twice as many accidents as adults though they drive half as many miles. Therefore, you must establish strict rules for safe driving, such as prohibiting speeding and alcohol consumption, and impose penalties when your child disregards them.
Knowing that your teenager is driving on the road can be unnerving. However, taking the time to reinforce safe driving habits contributes significantly to your child’s safety.