Parent-child relationships reach a major milestone when it’s time for teens to learn how to drive. Many parents dread this inevitable step towards maturity and independence, knowing that driving at any age is a life and death situation.
Although you are right to go into this new stage of growth with concern, caution, and focus, there is no reason to panic. Here are 6 reliable strategies you can employ to improve the driving safety of your teenager.
1. Remember, as a parent, you set the ground rules for driving
Although, when teens reach legal driving age, they typically question authority, it is imperative that you take charge and assume your responsibility as the driving coach.
Statistics show that driving accidents are the leading causes of teen deaths in the United States. According to the National Safety Council (NCS), every year, drivers under 18 are in 900,000 car crashes, and drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are the most likely to die in a vehicle accident. Allowing your progeny to drive a powerful piece of machinery on the open road is no trifling matter.
If you are teaching them yourself, remain calm, go slow, and take it step by step. Start by familiarizing your child with the vehicle, and then advance to changing gears, the position of both hands on the wheel, braking, turning, backing up, and signaling.
From these basics, move on to driving in town, driving on the freeway, parking, and what to do in the event of emergencies. Whether you are the teacher or you opt for professional instruction, lay down appropriate ground rules about when your teen will be allowed the use of the car, the number of passengers, and consequences for legal infractions.
2. Forbid cell phone use in the car
Using a cell phone while driving reduces focus and causes inattention toward road conditions in drivers of any age. For your inexperienced teen driver, it is a recipe for disaster. Make it clear that cell phone use of any kind while driving is not allowed.
The no phone rule includes sending and reading text messages or even hands-free talking, except to parents or 911 in emergencies. To help curb the need to look at their smartphone every time it beeps, have a no notification rule for driving, or at all times. That Snapchat or Instagram post will still be there when they get to their destination.
Make the no phone stipulation easier for them by not insisting that they answer your calls if there’s a chance they may be behind the wheel. Instead, request that they call you back when they stop. If they need to make a call or text someone while they’re on the road, they should pull over and park first.
3. Make GPS navigation easy with a dashboard mount
Gone are the times when we consult a paper map or receive verbal directions and then rely on memory to reach our destinations. Instead, most modern drivers navigate using GPS on their phones or a GPS device.
And if you think they can just place their phone in the passenger seat or the cup holder, in a pinch, think again. Research shows that the odds of being in a vehicle-related accident double if a driver takes their eyes off the road for longer than 2 seconds.
To make navigating safer for your new teen driver, install a dashboard mount in your vehicle for your GPS device or phone. Remember, if they use a cell phone and a map app, the phone is for navigation and emergencies only.
4. Maintain watchfulness with a GPS tracking system
Once you’ve handed over the keys and allowed your teen to venture forth on their own in the car, there are still steps you can take to maintain responsible oversight as a parent. One of the most efficient strategies is to install a teen GPS tracking device in the car so that you know where you can monitor
For instance, the Teen Track OBD Plug is a teen tracking device you can self-install and even move from car to car that allows you to see where your teen is every two minutes.
For more advanced vehicle tracking that’s easy to install, the Teen Track 607 also gives you stop locations with addresses, geofences, speed alerts, and other features for a low monthly fee. The web-based Teen Track 2500 gives you the additional ability to customize geo fencing alerts for your teen.
Both devices are real time GPS trackers, and all 3 GPS systems help you give a report card to your teens on whether or not they drive safely.
5. Set an example with your driving
Teens watch what you do even more intently than they listen to what you say. Now that you have a teen driver in the family always set an example in your own driving by wearing your seatbelt, maintaining a cautious attitude, diligently following traffic regulations, and never using your cell phone while you’re behind the wheel.
6. No friends in the car until your teen is an experienced driver
The NCS’s Drive It Home resources advise that you ensure your teenager doesn’t drive with friends or siblings in the car for at least the first 6 months after they become a licensed driver. Some states have even longer waiting periods before they can have other people under 18 years old in the vehicle with them.
Follow the regulations where you live, but also set your own rule. You know your child, and you are the best judge beyond the time allowed by law for when they’re ready to be trusted with passengers.
Final Thoughts on Teen Drivers and Your Role as a Parent
We know you want your teenage driver to develop safe driving habits. You can’t be with them all day, every day, and that includes when they are ready to drive a vehicle. You can teach them about safety and set ground rules for car use. In addition, you can ensure the agreements you have in place, as well as the laws of the road, are followed by using a teen driver GPS tracking device.
Build their driving skills and trust, so when they go off on their own, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they won’t crash when they’re behind the wheel.
If you have questions about teen GPS tracking or any other type of GPS tracking, leave them in the comments below or give us a call at (847) 382-5107.
This post was written by Writer