The moment your child gets behind the wheel is nerve-wracking for any parent-and for good reason. Your teen is not only new to the roads, but it’s also a very dangerous time to be driving. Drivers are more distracted than ever. And despite no-hands laws in many states, including Texas, driver distraction is the cause of 58% of teen driving accidents.
How To Stay Safe
Here are 7 tips parents can implement or share with their teenage drivers:
1. Include safe technology habits in driving lessons. Teach your teen safe driving practices from the start so they can form the right habits. Early teaching and reinforcement can make all the difference as your teen matures as a driver.
2. Practice what you preach. If you want your teen to adopt safe driving practices, you need to do the same. They will follow your example, so set the right one by concentrating on the road, avoiding excessive speeding and reckless driving, and avoiding phone use while driving.
3. No-hands. It’s the law. Consider buying your teen a blue-tooth device and a magnet to attach their phone to their dashboard to use only in case of an emergency. That way, if they need to answer a call they can do so legally.
4. Use auto-replies. Most phones have a driver mode or do not disturb setting. Teach your teen to use these modes and do the same with your own phone while driving.
5. Utilize apps that monitor driver safety. Apps may be provided by your cellphone carrier or a third-party, such as LifeSaver or DriveSmart. These apps track things like speed, abrupt braking and sudden turns.
6. Share relevant news from sources your teen already reads. Maybe there’s a piece on distracted driving or a devastating crash from Buzzfeed that your teen would find interesting. Pass it along.
7. Emphasize that it’s not just about being hands-free – it’s about concentrating on the road. Many teens say that they can drive easily with their knees, which is hardly believable. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter even if it were true. Driving safely takes full concentration.
Driving is a serious responsibility. Make sure to go over these tips with your teen to help them make the best possible choices while driving.
Remember: Even the safest of drivers can be involved in a devastating accident caused by a negligent driver. If your teen is involved in an accident, talk to a lawyer from Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston by calling (713) 222-7211.