This post is sponsored by Anapol Weiss personal injury law firm.
For your teen driver, getting their driver’s license is a right of passage. Nevertheless, with the new freedom and independence that comes with driving, there’s also new responsibility. It also comes with a number of hazards that can lead to car accidents and other dangerous situations if your teen doesn’t handle them right.
As a parent, you likely have more influence over your teen driver than you think. Talking with them and making them aware of potential dangers can help keep them stay safe and prepared for any situation they may face on the road.
The following are some important driving lessons that you may not think twice about, but that can help your teen driver prevent being in a car accident.
1. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
It’s tempting to skip the seatbelt on short trips to the corner store. However, a car accident can happen any time you’re on the road, and you’re far more likely to be seriously injured if not wearing a seat belt.
2. Check Your Blindspots
While the rear and side-view mirrors can give you a good idea of what’s behind you while driving, remind your teen that there are still blind spots. Always check your blind spots when backing up or changing lanes.
3. Don’t Drive In Other People’s Blindspots
Just as important as checking your own blindspots, is to avoid driving where other cars can’t see you. This defensive driving technique is one that will keep your teen from having a car accident. If you’re driving along the side and slightly behind another car, they may not be able to see you.
4. Be Aware of Pedestrians and Anything On the Road
When driving, it’s easy to become so focused on other cars and the rules of the road that you just don’t see pedestrians, bikers, or other things that are on the road. It helps to remind your teen to be aware of other things on the road besides cars.
5. Put Your Phone Away
The most common cause of distracted driving is people checking their phones, texting while driving, and other digital distractions. Our phones should be put away while we drive. If you need to check your phone for any reason, it’s okay to pull over. Stop for a minute and answer your messages; once you’re done, you can continue driving.
Researchers say that every time you write and send a text, your eyes are off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is enough time to drive the length of a football field. Remind your teen always to keep their eyes on the road no matter what.
6. Keep Passengers to a Minimum
When your teen is just starting to drive on their own, you may want to make a rule against driving with passengers, at least for the first few months. Passengers in the car can be a big distraction. Plus, if those passengers are friends of your teen, they may pressure them to drive too fast and make risky decisions.
7. Never Drive When You’re Tired or Upset
If your teen is angry when they drive, they’re much more likely to make risky decisions on the road. Honestly, this is a good rule for all drivers as we cannot focus on the road when our minds are somewhere else.
The same goes for being tired. Fatigued drivers cause many car accidents. In fact, some experts say that driving while you’re sleepy is equally as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
8. Don’t Drink and Drive
It’s likely your teen has heard this a million times, but they must never drive under the influence. Although you may be tempted to avoid talking about alcohol and drugs, it’s an issue that almost every teen has to face at some point. Set firm expectations upfront about drinking and driving and stick to them.
9. Use Your Headlights
You can’t control other drivers, but you can make it easier for them to see you. Turning on your headlights, even during the day, is one thing you can do to help avoid car accidents on the road.
Obviously, you should use your headlights at night. Still, there are many other driving conditions where your headlights can be helpful, such as early mornings and evenings when the sun affects visibility.
10. Follow the Speed Limit
Speeding is the leading cause of accidents for all drivers, but especially for teens. Remind your teen driver that no one is pressuring them to drive fast, and there’s no need to keep up with others on the road who choose to drive recklessly. Let them pass and stick to the speed limit.
What’s more, speeding tickets can be costly and raise car insurance premiums. Following the speed limit is one of the most important rules of the road when it comes to avoiding a car accident.