As a parent of a teenager who is learning to drive or already has their license, you have a lot to think about. Although you want your kids to be independent, you also know that he or she still need rules and guidelines to ensure safety on the road. What can parents of teen drivers do to help their children stay safe?
Set Ground Rules Right Away
State law already dictates when teens can drive and who can be in the car with them as well as that they must be completely sober when behind the wheel. However, you may wish to add additional rules when your teenager gets his or her license. If you do impose extra rules, make sure that they are made clear before and after your teen starts driving. You may also want to ask you teen driver to take a DMV practice test to make sure they know the rules of the road before starting to drive.
Make Sure That Your Child Has a Hands-Free Kit and a GPS
Teenagers love to be on their cell phones. Unfortunately, cell phones and driving do not mix. If your teen must use a phone while in the car, you should make cell phone use safer by installing a hands-free kit in the car. Additionally, having a GPS in the car ensures that your teen driver will never get lost while on the road.
Ask Your Child to Pay for Gas and Insurance
Your teen driver may not be able to make a car payment on his or her own yet. However, if your teen uses the car, he or she should help pay for it. At the very least, you should demand that the gas tank stays full and any additional insurance costs are paid for by the new driver. This is a good way to teach responsibility and accountability to a young person. Young people love to be independent, but as a parent, you need to make sure that they are walking the line between independence and responsibility. Doing so ensures that your teen driver can act like an adult within limits that are suitable for teenagers.