Keeping teens safe in cars
Do you remember what it was like to be a teen? Do you remember feeling invincible and that the world was just waiting for you? There’s a reason teens feel that way. Their brains are still developing and, as responsible as they may be in some areas, their brains do not yet have the physical and psychological development to fully manage the hazards of risk taking. In fact, there is a biological predisposition for teens to be attracted to risk taking. Driving courses teach the mechanics of driving, but there are some additional areas that need to be considered to keep teen drivers safe behind the wheel.
Have your teen drive a safe car
Your teen probably has dreams of driving a fast car that can zip around town, but to keep your teen safe, choosing a mid-size, 4-door is one of the safest decisions. A small car, while easy to maneuver, does not provide the same amount of crash protection. A large car that can provide significant crash protection may be difficult to maneuver for a teen drive without years of experience. Additionally, mid-size cars usually have lower car insurance premiums.
Have proper insurance
If your teen does get in an accident, you’ll want to make sure that your teen has the proper amount of car insurance. You want to make sure that the policy has adequate coverage to cover damages to their car and another vehicle. You might want to consider adding additional medical coverage for your teen driver. Your teen may have the proper health insurance coverage, but do you know if all of their passengers do? If your teen causes an accident, you don’t want to be liable for additional medical coverages from the passengers.
Enroll your teen in a safe driving course
When teens learn how to drive, they learn in very controlled situations. But as we all know, life isn’t like that. By enrolling them in a safe driving course, they will learn different types of defensive maneuvering that can help them.
Talk about distracted driving and its dangers
There are so many great ad campaigns talking about the dangers of distracted driving, whether it be texting, making phone calls, eating, putting on makeup, etc. An entire life can be destroyed from one careless moment. Even if you’ve already had the talk with them, make sure you periodically remind them about the importance of remaining distracted free while driving. Teens, just like adults, need to be reminded about what’s important.
Talk about safety when driving with others
Did you know that only 55% of teens wear their seat belts when they are in the car with other teens? That’s a sobering fact considering how many teen car accidents there are every year. Also, reinforce to your teen that is okay for them to speak up to their friends that are driving if they notice them doing things that are distracting such as texting, taking pics, or even recording videos.
Be a good role model
One of the most important things you can do for your teen driver is to be a good role model while you’re driving. Don’t make phone calls or text while driving. When you’re in the car, try to point out hazards that your teen driver might not be aware of since they don’t have the years of practice that you have.