How to Talk to Your Teen About Car Safety
As a parent, you have good reason to get nervous each time your teen sets out on a drive, but this doesn’t have to be the case. You can use the tips below to ensure that your teen will stay as safe as is possible while on the road, and over time, this will help you stay less anxious.
Service the Car Regularly
a well-serviced car is one that will run optimally and help ensure the overall safety of its occupants. With around $60 billion worth of car maintenance going unperformed each year, it’s sad to note that many people ignore this basic safety measure. Remind your teen that keeping their car well-maintained will not only help them stay safer on the roads but will also help extend the lifespan of their vehicle. This makes it important for both safety and economic reasons.
There are many distractions in this day and age, and for a teen behind the wheel, these can prove costly. Have them keep their phones on silent or install hands-free applications that will enable them to know who may be calling and answer without getting their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road. Emphasize to them that unless a call is extremely important, they will be better off ignoring it and returning it once they’re safely parked and are no longer driving. Messages and social media alerts are at the very bottom of the list of urgent interactions, so ensure that they keep this in mind.
Always Buckle Up
With 1,326 people injured as a result of not wearing their seatbelts between 2016 and 2018, it’s clear that no one should ever start the car before they’ve buckled up. It’s an extremely easy safety measure, but one that is unfortunately easy to ignore and that can have devastating effects. Make sure that your teen understands its importance and have them always insist that everyone in the car should be buckled up before they drive off. Whether they’re going for a short distance or a long one and even if they will drive at the speed limit, wearing their safety belt should be non-negotiable.
Never Drive While Intoxicated
It may be tempting for your teen to get in behind the wheel after a drink or two as they consider that they’re not really drunk, but have them know that this is not safe. Tell them that if they ever end up intoxicated and they have their car, they’re better off calling you for help or hailing a cab from any of the ride-hailing apps currently available. This may seem like a nuisance to them, but have them understand that it will ensure their safety from accidents and hefty fines.
Maintain a Good Distance Behind Other Cars
Finally, ensure that your teen knows they need to drive at a reasonable distance behind other drivers. This is because they have no way of knowing the capabilities or intentions of other road users. The best thing they can do in this case is to allow a reasonable distance between them and the driver ahead of them so that they have time and room to respond in case of anything. For instance, trucks that are traveling at 65 miles per hour take up to two entire football fields to come to a stop. This is just one example of how hard it would be to evade or react to trucks that lose control.
When you share these tips with your teen, they will be likely to stay a lot safer while they drive. Make sure to lead with a good example as a parent by adhering to the same rules yourself. This way, your teen will see their importance for sure.