Since 2007, the third week in October has been celebrated as National Teen Driver Safety Week. The week is designed to help reinforce safe driving habits in the million of teen drivers who get behind the wheel on a daily basis. To do our part, we compiled a checklist of things you can do to help keep the teens in your life safe when they are in the car.
Practice, Practice, Practice – Make sure your teen has plenty of practice behind the wheel before they go for their license. Many driver’s education courses require a student to spend a certain amount of hours behind the wheel under the supervision of an adult, but those hours aren’t always strictly enforced or monitored. According to the Minnesota Department of transportation, a parent or guardian must sign a form that states the teen has completed at least 30 hours of training behind the wheel, 10 of which must come at night. If you don’t keep an accurate record of the hours you spent with your teen, you might be cheating them out of necessary hours. If possible, have them log at least 50 hours of practice before they go for their road test.
Teach them the common pitfalls – Children inherently emulate their parents, so set an example for your teen when you’re driving. Over 75 percent of serious teen crashes were caused by driver error, and three main errors were to blame.
Don’t floor the gas pedal, and make sure your eyes remain on the road. If you’re going to answer your cell phone while driving, do so with the help of a hands-free device, and always be aware of your surroundings. Practicing these habits will make you a good role model for your teen.
Cell phone management – Now is the perfect time to talk to your teen about the dangers of texting while driving. No text is worth losing a life. In fact, you can ensure that your teen doesn’t text while driving by having them download one of these five apps. Some of the apps prevent text messages from being sent or received if the phone is moving fast than 10 mph, while other programs simply read the text out loud so your teen can keep their eyes on the road.
Do your part to help keep the teens in your life safe when they’re behind the wheel.
Related sources: NHTSA.com, TeenDriverSource.org
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