Earning a driving license is one of the most exciting times for teens, but lack of driving experience all too often leads to crashes and devastating consequences — according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Follow these 9 safety tips for parents to help ensure your teen stays safe behind the wheel, and visit Tire Rack Street Survival's website for more information and where to find a program being offered in your area.
Set limits on teen driving, especially during high-risk situations such as at night, on the weekends, or in bad weather.
Do not allow your teen to ride with a young driver that has less than one year's experience behind the wheel.
Do not allow your teen to ride in a car with several other teenage passengers. The higher the number of teens in the car, the greater the level of distraction to the teenage driver.
Know where your teen is going, who he is with, and the route he plans to take. Have your teen check in with you when he reaches his destination and about any other plans he has.
Teach your teen to look 10 seconds down the road, and to stay at least 3 seconds behind the car in front of him at all times. This will help your teen to focus on the best escape route if he is confronted with an obstacle.
Set up a secret code your teen can use if he finds himself in an unsafe situation and needs you to come pick him up. Also, provide him with a list of local cab companies to keep in his wallet to avoid sleep-deprived driving.
Do not use your cell phone for calls or texts when driving — these are both leading distractions and causes for crashes among teen drivers. Remind your teen to keep his hands off the center of the wheel and feet off the dashboard. In the event of airbag deployment, having hands and feet in this position can result in serious bodily harm.
Stress the importance of every passenger always wearing a seat belt.
Complete a vehicle maintenance check with your teen every month to ensure everything is working and running smoothly.