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5 Important Safety Tips to Cover With Your Teens
5 Important Safety Tips to Cover With Your Teens
Learning to drive is one of the most exciting yet crucial experiences in a teenager’s life. Besides the independence that comes with being able to drive themselves around town, getting a driver’s license opens up vast opportunities for young persons.
However, it also comes with immense risks and demands a great deal of responsibility.
As a parent, you must guide teenage children through their driving lessons. Part of this duty involves providing them with handy tips to help them understand safe driving strategies.
Below are crucial areas you may want to cover with your teen before that dreaded driving test to ensure they stay safe on the road.
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1. Observing Basic Traffic Rules is Vital
It is vital to let your teenage child know that safe driving is all about following traffic rules to the letter. Therefore, provide them with a checklist of all the essential regulations drivers must follow and emphasize the importance of observing these rules while on the road.
The first item on your checklist should be wearing a safety belt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers tend not to wear seat belts while driving or in a moving car. For example, a recent NOPUS study shows that seat belt use in the front seat among teens and young adults (16–24 years of age) was at 87% each year, compared to 90% for adults aged above 25.
As such, it is imperative to stress the importance of seat belt use. Make them understand that buckling up is more than just a law; it is also the most practical and effective means of reducing a motorist’s chances of sustaining severe injuries or death in case of an accident.
Other basic rules you may want to teach your kids include the importance of using turn signals, observing lane discipline, maintaining a safe following distance, and obeying traffic lights.
2. Speeding Kills
Speeding is a serious issue for drivers, particularly young people. Teenagers are often carried away by the excitement of their newly acquired skill and are tempted to drive at high speeds to look cool.
Therefore, ensure you make your kids understand the dangers of speeding. Tell them that speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time, thus increasing their chances of getting involved in a crash. Also, mention that speeding is guaranteed to end up in chaos, especially during inclement weather at traffic stops or when driving on winding roads.
3. Distracted Driving is Dangerous
Distracted driving is among the leading causes of road accidents. It refers to anything that diverts the driver’s attention away from driving, making a phone call, tuning the radio, or something as trivial as using the navigation system. Therefore, make your teenage kids understand the need to eliminate all distractions while behind the wheel.
Multi-tasking is not a skill for drivers, no matter how smart they think they are. Inform them that inexperienced drivers like themselves are mainly incapable of multi-tasking while driving, so they should avoid it at all costs.
4. Impaired Driving or Driving Under the Influence is Unlawful and Deadly
While drivers are legally allowed to drive while below the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, inexperienced drivers should completely steer clear of alcohol or drugs. Intoxication, coupled with inexperience, is a definite recipe for disaster.
For that reason, make it a mandatory rule that your teenagers should never operate a vehicle when drunk. Besides being illegal, any alcohol content in the body also lowers their level of coordination, causes poor judgment, and slows their reaction time.
5. Overloading is Dangerous
Most teenagers are obsessed with popularity, and understandably so. Therefore, it is not uncommon for these young ones to drive around in a car filled to the brim with other teenagers.
So, you must brief your teenagers on the dangers of such reckless behaviors. Inform them that having many people in the car when driving can be very destructive. It prevents them from staying focused and calm while driving.