School is about to start again, and that means many teenagers will be on the road. If your teen is one of them, go over some basic safety tips with them. A safety reminder is never a bad thing and could help to keep them, and others, safe this school year
A few minutes of your time going over these safety tips could save a life!
Pay attention to road signs
All of our kids can get easily distracted, and that includes our teen drivers. You can help your teen be a better driver by testing their knowledge of road signs. Do they know what all of them mean and can they proceed with the proper actions in response to them? Talk to your teen about how the road conditions change this time of year, with crossing guards out to help kids across the street and school zones lowering speed limits. Also, discuss with them the importance of just being aware of their surroundings. Roads and signs change every day; don’t let them be caught off guard.
Don’t text and drive
It’s everywhere: Don’t text and drive. With the campaigns gaining speed, you’d think that teens would be getting the picture, but unfortunately, it would appear that they aren’t. The fatality rate for texting and driving is going up, not down, and this has many parents concerned. It isn’t just a matter of putting their own lives at risk, but also those of everyone else around them. Teach your children that the road needs their full attention and that text can wait. If you have Netflix, you could sit and watch “From one second to the next” with your teen. It is a documentary in which Werner Herzog chronicles the devastating consequences of texting and driving. The film examines how lives can be forever altered by a trivial text. It is very powerful and watching the people affected can be a much stronger deterrent than just being told not to do it.
Keep all distractions in the back of the car
Following on from the previous point – don’t have anything you don’t need with you in the front of the car. Makeup, food, cell phones, even backpacks can all distract your teen while they are driving, even if your child is trying to be a good driver and pay attention. It only takes a moment of inattention while putting your hand in a bag to find a snack bar to leave you, and everyone around you open to devastating consequences. Teach your kids to place their items, including the cell phone, in the back of the car to keep the distraction out of reach.
Carry safety equipment … and know how to use it
Does your teen know how to change a tire? What if they get in a wreck? Do they know what to do? Help them put together a safety kit to keep in their car at all times and teach them how to use all of the items. Flares for dark roads, a reflective vest, and a spare tire and jack should all be items that they are carrying with them and able to use. In the same way that you practiced parking with them practice changing a tire and what to do in a range of emergency situations.
What do you do to help your teen be a safe driver?