Getting a driver’s license is a landmark for teenagers that is much anticipated. With a driver’s license comes a modicum of freedom. However, with great freedom comes great responsibility. The thing is, parents of new drivers also have their share of that responsibility. What do you think you might need to know when your teen is about to have that extra bit of freedom? Here are just a few things to consider.
One critical factor that you need to take under consideration is car insurance. Right when your teen gets his learner’s permit, you need to talk to an insurance agent or look at options for car insurance online to see what your coverage options are so that you can ensure that your vehicle and your family are protected.
Teaching Them to Drive
Yes, you can teach your teen to drive, but they also need to take a driver’s education course. This will give them the opportunity to be taught the skill by someone who is accustomed to working with student drivers. Courses such as these give the student a classroom style education in road signs, safety, and etiquette while they also get driving time with an actual certified instructor. The idea is to allow the student the opportunity to prepare for the actual driving exam in a safe environment.
Even though they are taking driver’s ed, don’t be afraid to drive with them. This is an important thing to do to get your teen ready for driving. Model good driving behavior for them and then stop to trade places with them so that they can practice what you just showed them.
Know the Risks
There is no denying it, driving is an activity that can be perilous, especially for teenagers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that car accidents end up with hundreds of thousands of teenagers being injured each year in the United States, and the time when that risk is at its highest is during the first few months following them getting their driver’s license.
Impaired driving, distractions, inexperience, and speeding are just a few of the major causes of accidents involving teenage drivers. With that being said, even if your teen is level headed and responsible, new drivers can often be overly concerned with driving properly and this can leave them unready to react to mistakes that are being made by other drivers on the road. Because of this, it is critical that your teen gets driving experience that is supervised. This will assist them in acquiring the skills that are necessary to becoming a driver who is competent. In fact, many states now have Graduated Driver Licensing laws, that will allow for a teen driver to gain experience while they are gradually gaining complete driving privileges.
When you take these dangers into consideration, it really is no wonder at all that a teen getting their driver’s license can give a concerned parent a bit of stress, but believe it or not, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. See, teenage drivers typically show marked improvement just within their first year of driving or the first 1,000 miles. Furthermore, they continue to show improvement for the 4,000 miles that follow. All you need to do is to take steps to making sure that you are setting your teen up to succeed when they are behind the wheel.
Assess Their Ability
As a parent, you have certain instincts. Follow them. If you happen to be uncomfortable with the thought of your teen being out on the road alone, or if you think that your teen might need a bit of extra practice, simply don’t let him drive alone. Begin by practicing in areas that are quiet and don’t see too much traffic. Do this while the weather is bright and sunny. As he gains more skill, you might begin to introduce him to various roads and traffic conditions and along with that, do it in varying weather and lighting conditions. Teen drivers who are new to the skill tend to be the safest when they have adults in the vehicle supervising them. They tend to be more at risk when they happen to be alone during the first half year that they are behind the wheel. With practice, and with guidelines that are enforced, you have the ability to assist your teen in becoming a great driver.