Giving your teen the car keys and letting them explore a new facet of independence is a reason to celebrate! However, driving is also an enormous responsibility that you shouldn’t take lightly. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you’re doing what you can as a parent to help them become safe, aware, and responsible drivers. Delve into some useful tips that can help you do that.
Instill a Sense of Value for the Vehicle
An essential tip for handing the car keys over to your teen is instilling a sense of value for the car they will be driving. It’s best to do this as they’re in the process of learning how to drive. This way, when the time comes to get behind the wheel on their own, they already understand how important it is to take proper care of their vehicle.
Start with being frank about how quickly their vehicle will deteriorate without regular maintenance. Moreover, teach them to perform simple maintenance, like oil changes and tire replacement. It’s also beneficial to have them handwash the car periodically since there are several essential reasons to get in the habit of washing their car.
Mitigate Risky Situations
Instilling a sense of value is only half the battle. It’s also pertinent for you to help mitigate risky situations as your teen embarks on their driving journey. Make sure they follow the new-driver guidelines of your state. Limit their nighttime driving and the number of passengers they can have while driving.
Additionally, restrict their cellphone use and show them how to use DND features on their phones to minimize distractions. Doing these things will ensure that they build good driving habits. But more than that, it will mitigate high-risk and hazardous situations while they’re on the road.
Talk Bluntly About Driving Safety
An essential tip for handing the car keys over to your teen is ensuring that you make time to sit down and have a frank conversation about road safety. Of course, this conversation should touch on always wearing a seat belt, making full stops, and watching pedestrians.
But it’s imperative to also discuss the more challenging topics, like drunk or tired driving, phone use while driving, and the like. These habits can often be deadly. So rather than dancing around it, be upfront about the dangers. Further, offer actionable suggestions to help your teen navigate the dicey situations they might find themselves in.
Telling them not to drink at all may not be an effective strategy. Instead, ask that they call for a ride if they are too intoxicated to drive. Again, this helps them build healthy habits for the future. Plus, it prevents your child from driving illegally and getting themselves into serious trouble.
These are some valuable tips to help ensure that your teen practices safe and healthy driving habits. And remember that instilling a sense of value, mitigating risky situations, and speaking bluntly about safe driving will help your teens understand how to protect themselves on the road, even when you’re not around.